Israel calls for second snap polls after Netanyahu fails to form govt

Tel Aviv [Israel]: Israel’s Parliament voted to dissolve itself in the wee hours of Thursday, sending the country into a second snap election this year as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government from parties elected to parliament on April 9.

It is the first time in Israel’s history that a general election has failed to produce a government, CNN reported.
The new elections, scheduled for September 17, are the result of a bill to dissolve the parliament introduced into the Knesset earlier this week.

Just after midnight local time (5 pm ET) the bill was passed into law by the Knesset members, with a 74 to 45 majority, just moments after Netanyahu’s deadline to form a government formally expired.

Government coalition negotiations were deadlocked over a proposed draft law, aimed at conscripting more ultra-Orthodox Jewish youth into the military. Israel’s ultra-Orthodox religious parties demanded changes to the bill, while former Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman wanted it passed with no changes at all.

Netanyahu has handled difficult coalition negotiations in the past but was unable to broker a compromise between the parties.

The Prime Minister later lashed out at Liberman, blaming him entirely for the failure to secure a new government and accusing him of never intending to reach an agreement.

“Avigdor Liberman is now part of the left,” Netanyahu said in a statement cited by CNN after the final vote to dissolve the Knesset.

Netanyahu also accused Liberman of repeatedly making fresh demands during coalition negotiations and said Israel was being “dragged” back to the ballot box because of “the private ambition of one person.”