Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to announce the decision to bring forward the general elections at a Likud party convention in Tel Aviv on Sunday.
The date for the elections, though likely to be September 04, will be the only topic at what looks to be a stormy party convention, as members will debate ways for choosing candidates for the next Knesset.
According to current party rules, primaries to determine candidate must be held before the general elections. Only 19 of the 27 current lawmakers get the chance to secure a spot; the remainder are to be chosen among non-serving party members.
A Likud spokesman told The Jerusalem Post that primaries would be held in early to mid-June.
Netanyahu`s rationale for advancing the elections concerns a bill advocating mandatory military or national service for Jewish religious students, which is being pushed for a parliamentary vote in May.
Netanyahu`s senior coalition partner, the Yisrael Beiteinu party, is behind the so-called "service for all" law, which sets it in confrontation with the ultra religious Shas party, another vital partner in the coalition.