Israel to hold fresh election as Netanyahu fails to form coalition

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives to the plenum at the KnessetImage copyright
Reuters

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Benjamin Netanyahu during the vote in the Israeli parliament

Israeli lawmakers have voted to dissolve parliament after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government.

The decision triggers a fresh election, to be held in September.

Mr Netanyahu was unable to reach a deal for a fresh right-wing coalition following last month’s election.

At the heart of the impasse was a military conscription bill governing exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jewish seminary students.

Parliament voted 74-45 in favour of dissolving itself after the prime minister missed a midnight local time (21:00 GMT) deadline on Wednesday night.

Mr Netanyahu appeared set for a fifth term after his Likud Party won 35 of the Knesset’s 120 seats in April’s election, but he could not reach a deal with former Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, whose support became vital.

Mr Lieberman, from the nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, had conditioned allying with ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties on changes to their military draft exemptions.

Speaking to reporters after the vote, Mr Netanyahu said: “We’ll run a sharp, clear election campaign which will bring us victory. We’ll win, we’ll win and the public will win.”



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