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Israel calls snap elections


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Israel calls snap elections

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition decided to dissolve the parliament and called snap elections likely to take place April 9, 2019, amid multiple corruption allegations against Netanyahu.

The coalition parties cited "budgetary and national responsibility" as they agreed to dissolve the parliament, known as Knesset, the Financial Times reported, while Netanyahu said at a news conference he wanted a stronger mandate from people to continue to lead the country, Bloomberg News reported.

The ruling coalition occupied 61 of the parliament's 120 seats after Avigdor Liberman quit as defense minister in November, leaving the coalition with a majority of only one seat.

The elections were originally scheduled to be held in November 2019, though no coalition in the last three decades has served its full term in Israel, Bloomberg News reported.

Avichai Mandelblit, Israel's attorney general, is in the process of reviewing police recommendations to formally charge Netanyahu on three corruption cases, the FT noted. Netanyahu is widely expected to be re-elected to his fourth straight term and fifth overall, though there is uncertainty as to whether he could serve as prime minister if he is indicted.

In March, Netanyahu opposed holding early elections in June, hoping his coalition partners had goodwill for him.