Barak: Elections by Year's End

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - At a Labor Party get together Sunday evening, Defense Minister and party leader Ehud Barak predicted that Israel's next elections, now scheduled for November 2010, would be held earlier, but he added that "there's no reason to rush."

"I predict that elections will be moved up and held either at the end of the year or at the beginning of 2009," Barak told his fellow Laborites.

The meeting came the evening before the opening of the Knesset's summer session.

Meanwhile, Likud faction chairman Gideon Sa'ar said he believes the country may go to the polls after the summer session or at least no later than the winter session.

"How long it will be possible for the government to survive -- not to actually be proactive, but to survive -- is a question open to assessments and guesswork," he said.

"[But] it's increasingly clear that either in the summer session or next winter's session, we will go to elections," he said.

"I hope that for the good of the state, it will be this session because it is impossible to maintain a stable government under the current conditions," Sa'ar said.

Member of Knesset Zevulun Orlev, chairman of the National Union/National Religious Party, believes the coalition will not survive the parliament's summer session.

"I'm very, very concerned that there is currently a threat to the democratic nature of the State of Israel," Orlev said. "I really do hope there are coalition parties, like Labor, that will demonstrate they are more concerned about Israeli democracy and the public's faith in the government than in furthering their own political careers," he said.

"The topics of elections and instability will lie just under the surface during every hearing about every subject. It simply cannot be that this kind of government can be responsible for life-and-death decisions," he said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post 

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