Knesset members voted unanimously in favor of dissolving the current Knesset in a preliminary vote on Wednesday. Eighty-four MKs supported the measure, none opposed it, and one Knesset member abstained.
Knesset faction leaders agreed on March 17, 2015, as the date for new elections, in a meeting with Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein on Wednesday morning. “We mustn’t abuse the public. We cannot take our time,” Edelstein said during the meeting. The date must be approved by the factions before it becomes official.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday launched a fierce assault on his coalition partners ministers Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni, accused them of attempting a “putsch” to oust him, fired them both, and announced that he would dissolve his government ahead of new elections.
In a press conference, Netanyahu said that the situation in the cabinet was such that it was “impossible” for him to lead the country.
“I wanted the broadest possible government,” he said of the aftermath of the 2013 elections, asserting that his previous coalition was “one of the best and most stable” in the history of the country. But because his Likud party did not receive “enough seats,” he found himself saddled with an “adversarial” cabinet that was unworkable from the start, and featured “incessant attacks from within the government.”
“It’s impossible to do all the things that are important for the security and welfare of the citizens of Israel” with the current government, Netanyahu said.
"Something Lapid and Livni have in common in their leadership is grandiloquent statements about new politics. But in effect they are part of the same old politics,” he said. “In recent weeks, they attempted to entice the ultra-Orthodox parties into deposing the prime minister while sitting in government.
“The finance minister who failed in managing the economy conspired with the justice minister in the dark in an effort to topple the government,” Netanyahu charged. “In one word, we call that a putsch. It’s impossible to run a government and a state this way, and therefore I advised the cabinet secretary to fire Livni and Lapid.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is being pushed "further into a corner" by falling oil prices, leaving him little option but to continue his aggression toward Ukraine and confrontation with the West, Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer told CNBC on Tuesday.
Putin has "gone all-in on an anti-U.S., must-keep-Ukraine nationalist engagement," Bremmer said on "Squawk Box." He said it's "completely inconceivable" for Putin to back down.
"This is what is behind all his approval ratings. It's behind who he now is as a leader," Bremmer said, adding that capitulation would "erode a lot of his power."
Russia's currency and economy are crumbling along with oil prices, the country's main export and revenue source. On Monday, the ruble suffered its worst one-day decline since 1998, and it looks like Russia's economy will tip into recession next year.
"I think that lower oil prices simply squeeze him harder, pushes him further into a corner. He feels he has to fight as a consequence," said Bremmer, whose Eurasia conducts research and advises clients on political risks around the world.
Meanwhile, Bremmer predicted the real problems for Putin and Russia are still a couple years off. "When Putin really takes economic pain that has the potential to destabilize the country, I'm thinking about 2017, in the runup to the 2018 election."