Netanyahu calls for early polls in Israel
Jerusalem, May 7 (IANS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for an early general election in four months' time, BBC reported.
The vote is expected to take place in September, a year before Netanyahu is required by law to seek a new mandate.
Netanyahu leads a centre-right coalition which includes his own Likud, and the Labour party of Ehud Barak. He has been prime minister since 2009.
According to opinion polls, Netanyahu is the most popular politician in Israel.
The prime minister told a meeting of party workers in Tel Aviv that he did not want "a year and a half of political instability accompanied by blackmail and populism".
After listing the accomplishments of his government, he said he would like to lead a broadly based coalition after the election.
According to the BBC, the timing of the decision may be partly due to a recent souring of relations with a junior coalition partner, Nationalist Israel Beiteinu party, over plans to require ultra religious Jews to do army service.
It could also be a move to strengthen his own position if Barack Obama wins another term as US president later this year.
The two leaders disagree on Israel's relations with Palestine. Many Israelis are concerned that Obama might pressure both sides to restart talks, having failed to do so in his first term.
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