Liberman: Elections Will ‘Definitely’ Take Place in 2016

August 30, 2015  

A second wannabe prime minister on Sunday expressed confidence that the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would soon fall. Speaking at a party event Sunday, Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman said that he was “positive” that new elections would take place sometime in 2016 – and he told party members and MKs to get ready.

Earlier, Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid said that he “smelled” new elections in the air. “This government’s days are short,” he told the Knesset Channel. “The budget they have produced is one that indicates that they will no longer be in power in another year.”

Both Lapid and Liberman have vied for the prime minister’s chair in the past, and both reportedly see the next election as their big – and perhaps last – chance. Currently, the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has only 61 members, and many political pundits believe that it is just a matter of time before a major coalition crisis crops up that will pull apart the government and make way for new elections.

While it’s not clear that Netanyahu will run for a fifth term as Prime Minister if the current government falls, Lapid said that the country needed alternatives, “and the left is not supplying it.” Lapid confirmed a report from last week that former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi would join Yesh Atid, assuming that he was able to resolve several legal entanglements regarding real estate deals he was involved in. “We will be happy to welcome him to the team,” Lapid added.

Liberman, meanwhile, is getting ready with his own forces. “As a party we will undergo two important changes,” he promised. “We will choose a new central committee, and we will be a force to contend with in the 2016 elections – and I can say with full confidence there will be such elections. Thus, we must invest and organize in two main areas – both getting the party’s internal house in order, and recruiting new members and supporters.”

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