x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Israel's leading party to call for elections

The Kadima party will ask parliament to be dissolved and elections to be held within 90 days after coalition talks failed.

A picture of Likud Party leader and the former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seen on a bus in Jerusalem.
A picture of Likud Party leader and the former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seen on a bus in Jerusalem.

Israel's governing Kadima party will today ask for parliament to be dissolved and elections to be held within 90 days, a spokesman for the centrist party said. The foreign minister Tzipi Livni, who heads Kadima, yesterday called for snap elections after failing to reach a coalition agreement with the religious Shas party.

"It is important to hold elections within the shortest period allowable by law in order to reduce uncertainties, given the serious political, economic and security challenges Israel faces," said Kadima spokesman Shmulik Dahan. The president Shimon Peres was expected to formally announce the snap elections at a ceremony marking the start of parliament's winter session. Mr Peres appointed Livni one month ago to try to form a government to replace the coalition headed by the prime minister Ehud Olmert, who resigned amid corruption allegations and police calls for him to be indicted.

Her efforts collapsed after Shas said on Friday it would not join the government because Livni rejected its budgetary demands and refused to pledge not to discuss Jerusalem with the Palestinians. Israel considers the whole city its eternal and undivided capital, but the Palestinians demand east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state. * AFP