Tel Aviv, Dec 25 (IECurrentAffairs) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he is confident of winning the early parliamentary election and that the majority of Israeli electorate agreed with his government’s agenda.
Earlier in the day, Israel ruling coalition leaders decided to move the country’s parliamentary election from November to April 9, with the current Knesset convocation to be dissolved by then, sputnik reported
“As far as four years [in office] have passed, we have entered the pre-electoral mode and a special period in the area of security is left behind, we appeal to voters with a lot of confidence in pursuing the right course for Israel … I don’t say that all citizens agree with that, but a great many of them. I’m sure that we will have a clear majority,” Netanyahu said at a meeting of Likud parliamentary faction, confirming that Israel would be holding elections in April.
The statement of Netanyahu comes against a background of corruption charges against him and the recent resignation of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who withdrew his party from the ruling coalition.
Netanyahu and his wife Sarah are allegedly involved into the Bezeq-Walla corruption affair, also known as Case 4000, being accused of promoting the interests of Bezeq, the country’s largest telecommunications provider, in exchange for favorable coverage of Netanyahu’s activities at the popular news website Walla controlled by the company. Netanyahu has also been suspected of getting expensive gifts from business circles (Case 1000) and trying to reach a deal with the leadership of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper (Case 2000). However, Netanyahu refuted all the accusations.
On November 14, Lieberman announced his resignation over disagreements with other members of the cabinet regarding the cessation of hostilities against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. The resignation of Lieberman and withdrawal of his right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party from the ruling coalition have not deprived Netanyahu of the parliamentary majority’s support, but reduced the ruling coalition to 61 seats in the 120-seat Knesset.