In a dramatic move on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Ministerannounced early elections in the country. In a televised speech, he admitted that his coalition-led government may not be able to pass next national budget for 2013 and therefore it is in interest of the country to hold elections to win fresh mandate of the public. Opposition parties have also hailed Netanyahu’s announcement. The fresh elections would take place within three months. It is a good decision and must be hailed. Netanyahu is perhaps the first leader who has publicly admitted the failure of his government to pass the national budget and announced early elections.
He did, however, maintain that his was the most stable government in decades, as it succeeded in strengthening the defense and economy of the country. Netanyahu also said that it is due to the success of his administration that Iran is not allowed to build nuclear weapons. Will opposition forces agree with this statement by the prime minister? The answer is a vehement “no” because Israeli opposition leaders believe that it is a failure of Netanyahu’s government that it could not coax world powers to set red lines against Iran’s controversial nuclear program. They believe that Netanyahu actually failed to win the support of the world powers, including the United States, on Iran’s nuclear program, as the Islamic Republic is still pursuing the technology.
It may be pertinent to mention here that all political leaders in Israel stand united on one point: to put every possible effort toward stopping Iran from enriching uranium. They all agree that Iran should not be allowed to develop an atomic bomb, as it is against the national interest of Israel. So what issues would come under discussion in election campaigns? Mostly, social and economic issues would get the focus of leaders, as a majority of them believe that Netanyahu did little to improve the economy and employment rate in the country. Also, social issues like the budgets for education and health facilities would remain a key focus of the leaders.
Iran’s nuclear program will be discussed in the election campaign, but to a limited extent, as all political leaders have almost unanimous stance on the issue. What are prospects of Netanyahu? It is premature to say anything about his prospects of returning to office, as the actual situation will unfold once the stage for election campaigns is set. No meaningful poll has also been conducted so far to check the popularity of different leaders, so it is difficult to comment on the issue at the moment. However, one thing is for sure and that is that Netanyahu’s administration will come under criticism for its failure to create job opportunities for youth and improve the economic condition.