Israeli lawmakers dissolve parliament; early election planned

World Today

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s move to dissolve parliament and hold early elections in March 2015 passed with a unanimous vote on Wednesday. Campaigning in the halls of Israeli parliament has already begun.

Israel’s government, which took office in early 2013, has been riven by divisions from the beginning over major issues facing the country. Wednesday’s vote in the 120-member Knesset, which passed 84-0 with one legislator abstaining, was an initial step.

Further votes are expected next week which will officially dissolve Israel’s parliament and usher in new polls. If the votes pass as expected, the current parliament will have served for one of the shortest periods in the country’s history.

This is not the first time a Netanyahu government has disbanded. In 1998, he lost a parliament no-confidence vote sending Israel to early elections one year later.

However, the financial ramifications of this move are steep. The premature elections will set back Israel’s economy by an estimated $500 million.

If local media predictions are accurate, the campaigning for the elections on March 17 will be tense. Pollsters predict that they will not put Benjamin Netanyahu in the prime minister seat again, despite the current climate of political chaos.

CCTV America’s Stephanie Freid reports.

Israeli lawmakers dissolve parliament; early election planned

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's move to dissolve parliament and hold early elections in March 2015 passed with a unanimous vote on Wednesday. Campaigning in the halls of Israeli parliament has already begun. CCTV America's Stephanie Freid reports.

Report compiled with information from the Associated Press.