Israeli parliament starts winter session with dissolution vote

Israeli parliament starts winter session with dissolution vote
# 15 October 2012 21:50 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. The Israeli Knesset (parliament) opened its winter session Monday following a three-month hiatus with a bid by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to dissolve the body and go to early elections on Jan. 22, 2013, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

The 120 Knesset members are expected to approve the vote by a large majority, therefore dispersing the legislative body the same day it was reconvened.

The session began with addresses by opening Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and President Shimon Peres, and continued with Netanyahu and Kadima opposition party leader Shaul Mofaz.

"In less than a hundred days the Israeli people will know who will lead it against the greatest security-related challenges we’ ve known since the dawn of this country, and deal with the worst financial crisis the world has known in the last 80 years," Netanyahu said, addressing the plenum.

Netanyahu recalled his government’s achievements in various fields for the past three years including in the security and the education departments.

Last week, Netanyahu announced his wish to go for early elections after failing to pass the 2013 budget within his coalition. The budget plan includes nearly NIS 14 billion (3.7 billion U.S. dollars) in cuts of ministry spending.

Knesset chairman Rivlin urged the Israeli public to go and vote, and although he acknowledged the public is "sick" of elections triggered by "political maneuvers," he stressed that the population must be responsible for its future.

"We are going for elections because we couldn’t decide upon some cardinal questions relating first and foremost to the social- economic agenda. Since we failed to pass the budget, the Israeli public is called to cast the deciding vote in the ballots," Rivlin added.

Peres, meanwhile, said the Iranian nuclear threat was one of the top issues the next government will have to handle, and called upon all sides to "brainstorm" and not quarrel amongst themselves.

"We shall rise above political interests for the interests of the nation," Peres said.