Israel’s Labor Party has decided to vote in favor of dissolving the Knesset.
Backing Labor Chairman Ehud Barak’s position, party leaders on Monday afternoon decided to require every Labor lawmaker to vote in favor of a bill that would dissolve the Knesset and set an election date for November. The bill, put forward by Likud Knesset member Silvan Shalom, is slated to come to a vote on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had threatened to fire any Labor ministers who vote in favor of the dissolution bill. Labor is a member of Olmert’s majority coalition.
The religious Shas Party, also a member of Olmert’s coalition government, has also threatened to vote in favor of the bill, unless the Knesset increases child allowance benefits, something that is not currently planned. Olmert has not threatened to fire Shas ministers.
Barak has said that if Shas decides not to vote to dissolve the Knesset, then his party will have to reconsider its decision.