|Date: 06/05/2012 Time: 11:13:00 AM
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to
officially call Sunday for early elections, on September 4, in a speech at his
ruling Likud Party conference.
Knesset is expected to vote on Monday, on a bill to dissolve the parliament
and pave the way for the snap elections.
Analysts believe that the Israeli premier is keen to hold early elections
ahead of the US presidential elections, scheduled for the first week of
November, fearing that the re-election of the US President Barack Obama may
affect his party share in the coming parliament.
Netanyahu has differed with US President Barack Obama on issues ranging
from the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process to Iran's nuclear program.
Opinion polls have consistently showed Netanyahu and his Likud party coming
out on top, with no credible rival to the prime minister.
The Israeli daily, the Jerusalem Post reported Sunday that Likud conference
is expected to be heated, as its members will decide in the coming weeks how
the Likud will choose its candidates for the next Knesset.
A party spokeswoman said the primary would take place in early to mid-June.
However, the real conflict will be about how the list is organized. Under
the current rules, the candidates in the top 19 spots are elected nationally
while the rest are chosen regionally. Only people who are not MKs may run for
the regional slots.