Shortly before Netanyahu’s announcement, Labor leader Shelly Yachimovich suggested the vote be held on Jan. 29, saying it was high time the country went to the polls.
“The country has actually been in election mode for over six months, which is unhealthy and should be stopped as soon as possible,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
“The public must remember that Netanyahu is going to elections so that immediately afterwards he can pass a harsh budget following election — a budget that will harm the lives of all of us, except the very richest,” she said, adding that the public must “choose one of two approaches” — Netanyahu’s or hers.
Labor, she said, was “ready” for an election.
Netanyahu’s coalition of ultra-Orthodox, right-wing and nationalist parties currently holds 66 of the 120 seats in parliament.