Saturday, October 25, 2008

Israel Could Hold Elections in February 2009

Tzipi Livni, the new leader of Israel's Kadima Party, is planning to meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres tomorrow to call early elections. Livni was attempting to put together a coalition government but the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party would not back her. They view her as keen to surrender East Jerusalem to the Palestinians.

So an election would most likely take place in February.

I think this strongly favors Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu. The longer the election campaign the bigger the disadvantage to the incumbent party. Netanyahu did not have a great tenure in office but it's been nearly a decade since he was last PM. Whether Livni likes it or not since she has not shown her chops as PM she will inevitably be linked to the incompetent and corrupt legacy of Ehud Olmert, who remains Israel's Prime Minister. Olmert is only to leave office once Livni either formed a coalition or after an election. Well, if Livni couldn't form a coalition how can she expect to gain the confidence of the Israeli electorate? Meanwhile, Livni carries Olmert around like an albatross.

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