Election Date Becomes Partisan Issue

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Likud and Blue and White parties were squabbling over a date for elections on Sunday, having worn out the issue of forming a unity government.

After March 3 had been agreed to unofficially, discussions had to be renewed after it was discovered that if falls out on the annual memorial day for soldiers whose burial places remain unknown.

The two sides then argued over whether the date should be March 2 or March 16. B&W reportedly favors the former because, it said, “We will not allow the country to be dragged into a long election campaign at the expense of the public.” Likud prefers the latter for reasons unspecified in media reports.

Either date would be a Monday, rare for Israeli elections, which are usually on Tuesday. But other scheduling conflicts caused the parties to consider a Monday.

If no date is agreed upon, and no government is formed by Wednesday midnight, the voting will automatically be on March 10, which this year is Purim.