Israeli prime minister may soon announce early election
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon may soon be forced to announce early elections after Amir Peretz was Thursday morning named the new chairman of the Labor Party, defeating the incumbent and favorite, Vice Premier Shimon Peres. The new Labor chief quickly reiterated his intention of pulling the party out of Sharon's government. The original date for next elections in Israel is set for November 2006.
Most political observers in Israel predict the internal Likud crisis, originally precipitated by the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza strip, will sooner rather than later bring about the collapse of the government. "We will notify the prime minister that we want to leave. We want to leave... certainly out of a desire to turn the Labor Party into an alternative that intends to take power in the next elections," Peretz said, according to Haaretz.
In addition to this, Sharon is facing an internal crisis in his Likud party. A group of "rebels" voted against the government during a recent vote. The rebels, lead by right-wing radicals, have also threatened to vote against a crucial budget vote later this month.
Press speculations have suggested that Sharon might decide to form new political party.