Likud Convention Meets Tonight, Preparing for Early Elections in Israel

UPDATE:  Peres resigns from Cabinet, will work for peace coalition.

UPDATE:  Likud compromises vote on party constitution Dec 25, primary vote on Jan 6.

Likud Convention Meets Tonight,

Political officials said on Saturday night that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be forced to dismiss Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz (Hatnua), who announced in a television interview that he intends to vote against the state budget in the Knesset on Monday, thus violating coalition discipline. Netanyahu may fire Peretz if he goes through with his threat, as a Minister is not permitted to vote against a government decision. 

This move comes in the backdrop of the Likud Central Committee meeting Sunday ]tonight] to discuss the moving up the date for the primaries [now set for late January] and the introduction of changes to the party constitution, against the backdrop of tensions between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Chairman of the party’s Central Committee, MK Danny Danon.

Netanyahu wants to hold a vote, during which the central committee members will decide whether to move up part primaries to December 25, and vote on the same day on changes he wants to bring to the Likud party constitution.

Danon, however, is demanding that a hearing be held first on proposed constitutional changes before a vote, and to treat the issue of advancing primaries only afterward – and separately.

In addition, recent reports indicated that Netanyahu is preparing for new elections, possibly next spring, and that his first step towards general elections is to hold the primaries for the leadership of the Likud.

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