Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said Wednesday that he has been unable to organize the necessary support for a bid to cancel the September elections, and the country will have to suffer three months of political campaigning paid for by state funds.
In a tweet Edelstein explained, “In recent days, I tried to push, for your benefit, the citizens of Israel, the cancellation of these unnecessary elections, saving us all billions [of shekels]. Unfortunately, not everyone would cooperate, so we’re not going to be able to cancel the elections.” In Israel, the political party campaigns are funded in large part by taxpayers’ money.
“My assumption is that if we don’t succeed in implementing this initiative, after September 17 these exact same players will sit around the same table and need to discuss the issues that at the moment they refuse to speak about,” Edelstein told the annual Israel Disciplinary Center security conference in Herzliya earlier in the week.
Edelstein has faced opposition from the Blue and White party and others, as well as skepticism in the legal community over whether in Israeli law it would be possible to cancel elections already approved by the Knesset.
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon were both against the idea, according to media reports.