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Israel to hold repeat elections in September

By Danielle Haynes
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Israel to hold repeat elections in September
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was unable to form a coalition government. Pool Photo by Jim Hollander/UPI | License Photo

May 29 (UPI) -- Israel's Parliament voted Wednesday to dissolve and hold a repeat election in September after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was unable to form a coalition government.

The legislative body, the Knesset, passed a first reading of the bill earlier in the week and a third reading late Wednesday by a vote of 74-45. The new election will be held Sept. 17.

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Netanyahu and his Likud Party failed to build a necessary coalition with other minor opposition parties that won election this spring. He will have until that time to build a coalition that will give him a majority in the Knesset.

Netanyahu tried to pressure Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beiteinu Party to join his coalition. The two met Monday but could not come to terms. Netanyahu touted support from President Donald Trump.

Lieberman said his party would support the dissolution of the Knesset and would not recommend an alternative candidate.

"The state of Israel is going to elections because of the Likud's refusal t accept our proposal," Lieberman said. "This is a complete surrender of the Likud to the ultra-Orthodox. We will not be partners in a government of Jewish law."

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The centrist Blue and White Party, led by Benny Gantz, said he should be given a chance to form a government if Netanyahu cannot. Likud, and Blue and White each won 35 seats in Israel's Parliament in April.

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