Labor to Back Bill Dissolving Knesset

Ad Feedback - TEL AVIV, Israel - On Thursday, Labor ministers said they will support a bill calling for the dissolution of the Knesset (parliament).

At its weekly meeting at party headquarters in Tel Aviv, seven Labor ministers agreed to support Likud MK (member of Knesset) Silvan Shalom's bill to dissolve the current Knesset.

If the bill passes its preliminary reading on June 18, it will be voted on three more times before it's finalized.

Should the Knesset pass a bill to dissolve itself, the government continues functioning as a transitional body until elections are held. The law stipulates that all major parties must agree on the date for elections. Until all these factors are in place, all parties have the option of remaining in the government.

In spite of Defense Minister and Labor party chairman Ehud Barak's call for Olmert to step down from office and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's call for primaries in the ruling Kadima party, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said he will not resign.

Of the four Kadima MKs -- Tzipi Livni, Avi Dichter, Shaul Mofaz and Meir Sheetrit -- vying for the party's leadership, Livni is the only one who wants to see the primary process started without delay.

The other three would-be candidates want to wait until July 17, when Olmert's attorneys cross-examine New York fundraiser Morris Talansky, which the prime minister says will help vindicate him of corruption charges.

Meanwhile, the ultra-Orthodox Shas party says it too will vote for dissolving the Knesset if Finance Minister Roni Bar-On doesn't support its bill calling for increased child support payments. On Thursday, Bar-On said again that he will not support that bill.

Likud chairman and opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly called for Shas and Labor to leave the Olmert-led coalition over its negotiations with the Palestinian Authority and its recent admission that the government is offering to cede the Golan Heights to Syria.

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, Ynet news

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