JERUSALEM, May 6 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will move elections up a full year and set polling for Sept. 4, officials said.
Netanyahu planned to make the announcement at a Likud Party convention Sunday evening, Israeli media reported. The convention marks the beginning of the Likud Party election campaign, Haaretz said.
A Channel 2 report Friday suggested Netanyahu is calling for early elections so that he and his transition government will be free to deal with Iran's nuclear program before the U.S. presidential election in November.
A recent poll in the Hebrew daily Maariv estimated the Likud Party is likely to win at least 31 of the 120 seats in the Knesset and the Labor Party will become the second-largest party with 18 seats. The Yisrael Beitenu Party, led by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and the Kadima Party are each projected to win 11 seats, the poll said.
Netanyahu was elected prime minister in 2009. Israel's general elections were initially scheduled to take place in September 2013.
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