Netanyahu Announces Early Elections
His coalition government won't be able to agree on budget, he believes
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Oct 10, 2012 3:58 AM CDT
Updated Oct 10, 2012 4:21 AM CDT
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered new parliamentary elections in early 2013, some eight months ahead of schedule.   (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

(Newser) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that national elections will be held within three months—some eight months ahead of schedule—because he knows his conservative coalition government won't be able to agree on a budget. "For the benefit of Israel," the elections will be held "as quickly as possible," he said on national TV, reports Haaretz. Holding the elections quickly will help maintain a stability to aid Israel in maintaining a "responsible economic and defense policy," especially now when the nation is so concerned that Iran is close to developing a nuclear bomb, he noted. The "lightning-quick" elections are also likely to help him win re-election, AP reports. He's enjoying a wave of popularity, and the opposition is fragmented.

Immediately after the announcement, the head of the Israel Labor Party said that Labor is the only real alternative to Netanyahu and his Likud party. The elections will be a choice "between two paths: Whether we will live in a jungle where the strong takes everything, or an enlightened and moral society," said party chief Shelly Yachimovich. The former leader of Kadima, Tzipi Livni, said on Facebook that after four "isolated, introspective" years under Netanyahu, it's time for Israel to "choose its path again."