Senior members of Israel’s ruling party, the Likud, claimed that having an early election would be foolish and called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to leave Yair Lapid outside of the coalition. Netanyahu signaled the coalition that there will be no early election by ordering the finance ministry to begin working on a budget for 2019.

Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Finance Ministry last night (Sunday) to begin working on a budget for 2019. It is likely that this is a message for the members of his coalition that he is not preparing to call an early election.

Despite the fact that only a month ago, Netanyahu threatened to hold an early election over the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation dispute, he now appears to be aspiring to remain prime minister of this government until the original time during which the country is set to head to the polls: November 2019. Channel 2 News reported last night that as soon as the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation crisis was resolved, the Prime Minister told officials in the Finance Ministry to “begin thinking” about the new budget.

It is not known yet whether Netanyahu is planning on having an early vote on the 2019 budget, hoping to approve a bi-annual budget for 2018-2019, or a vote on the 2019 budget at the end of 2018.