JERUSALEM, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Friday urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to hold general elections as early as possible.
Liberman, leader of the Yisrael Beteynu party, made the call when meeting with Netanyahu earlier Friday, according to Israeli media. The party is a partner of Netanyahu's Likud party in his coalition government.
If the Knesset (parliament) is dissolved on Oct.15, the earliest possible time to hold an election would be Jan. 15, 2013, the reports said. The mandate of the current coalition is due to expire at the end of 2013.
The foreign minister was quoted as saying Friday that, in order to avoid harming the government's economic and security achievements, elections must be held at the earliest possible date.
Netanyahu has warned that he would dissolve the Knesset and call early elections if the legislature fails to pass the 2013 state budget, which includes sweeping austerity measures.
A budget must be submitted by Nov. 1, at which point the Knesset has two months to pass it.