(JERUSALEM) — Election season is coming earlier than expected in Israel as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Tuesday he was moving up the vote because of disagreements with political opponents over the 2013 national budget.
Netanyahu, who leads the coalition government, said the elections would take place within the next three months.
While budget issues might be the public reason for moving up the elections from next autumn, Netanyahu is hoping the accelerated vote will hinder his political foes from bolstering their own platforms.
Most observers say the prime minister was already tipping his hand during an impassioned speech to the United Nations General Assembly last month when he spoke of establishing a “red line” to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Privately, Netanyahu is said to be concerned that President Obama will be reelected and that he might experience fallout from his friendship with GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
During his announcement of the early vote, Netanyahu tooted his own horn by saying, “In a few months, the tenure of the most stable government in decades will come to an end. This stability has helped us achieve the two main objectives we promised the citizens of Israel — to strengthen security at a time when a dangerous upheaval is gripping the Middle East, and [to fortify] the economy during…a financial turmoil.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio