Israel’s snap elections to be held Sept. 17

JERUSALEM (AA): Israel’s parliament decided to hold early elections Sept. 17, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government Wednesday.

Under Israeli law, Netanyahu, who leads the Likud Party, had until midnight Wednesday local time to form a coalition.

Lawmakers approved the dissolution of the 21st Knesset in a 74-45 vote.

The polls will be the second national elections in 2019.

Netanyahu won a record fifth term in April when his party clinched 36 Knesset seats.

He accused Yisrael Beiteinu right-wing nationalist party leader and former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman with misleading voters and dragging the nation into snap elections.

“He was the cause of the previous one [early elections] too, just because he wants a few more votes, which he won’t get,” Netanyahu told reporters.

He said Lieberman is “a man of the left wing” and “brings down the right-wing governments.”

Israel’s snap elections to be held Sept. 17