Israel faces new election after talks fail

Jerusalem: Israeli lawmakers have voted to dissolve parliament, paving the way for a new election after veteran Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government before a midnight deadline.

The ballot is widely expected to take place in September, the second this year.

It represents unprecedented upheaval, even in a country used to political infighting, and is a blow to Netanyahu, who had claimed victory in the last election on April 9.

Parliament’s 74-to-45 vote took place just minutes after a midnight deadline for Netanyahu to form a coalition.

He is set to become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister in the summer.

The turmoil arose from a feud between Netanyahu’s presumed allies – ex-defence minister Avigdor Lieberman, a far-right secularist, and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties – over military conscription.

Read the article in The Sydney Morning Herald (Reuters).