Netanyahu to Consider Proposal to Cancel Upcoming Israeli Election, Party Says

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will consider an initiative to call off the September 17 election after it was proposed by the speaker of the Knesset, the party announced on Tuesday.

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Speaker Yuli Edelstein, also a member of Likud, believes there is a legal mechanism that would permit calling off the election, but a proposal has not been put before Knesset Legal Adviser Eyal Yinon.

Sources familiar with the initiative told Haaretz that it is likely to be overturned by the High Court, and a Likud source said Netanyahu would need to work to defend the bill in court if it does get the majority needed.

Likud is trying to get 80 of the Knesset’s 120 members to support the bill, even though only 61 are needed.

For such a bill to become law, the Basic Law on the Knesset would have to be amended.

Kahol Lavan Chairman Benny Gantz, said that Tuesday’s development “makes clear that Netanyahu is afraid of the public’s verdict.” 

Kahol Lavan added in a statement that “Netanyahu has come out with more spin to try to make the public forget that he failed to form a coalition, to prioritize his own benefit, and to drag the entire country into unnecessary elections.” 

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It added that “Netanyahu realizes that he stands to lose the election and is looking for a magical solution now.”