Israel to hold new election as Netanyahu fails to form coalition

 Israel to hold new election as Netanyahu fails to form coalition

Israeli lawmakers have voted to dissolve parliament after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government. The vote triggered a fresh election, which will be held on September 17. 

Parliament voted 74-45 in favour of dissolving itself after Netanyahu missed a midnight local time (21:00 GMT) deadline on May 29.

It is the first time in Israel's history that a prime minister-designate has failed to form a coalition.

Netanyahu will now remain in power until September's vote.

Netanyahu entered negotiations to form a coalition government after his Likud Party won 35 of the Knesset's 120 seats in April's election, setting him up for a fifth term in office. But he clashed with former Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, whose support in the talks became vital.

Lieberman, from the nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, had made it a condition of allying with ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties that they change their military draft exemptions.

Netanyahu pushed for new elections to prevent Israeli President Reuven Rivlin selecting another member of parliament to try to form a government.

"We'll run a sharp, clear election campaign which will bring us victory. We'll win, we'll win and the public will win," BBC cited Netanyahu as saying.