Israeli parliament votes to disband, hold April 9 election

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks in during a session at the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. As snap elections were called in Israel, Netanyahu emerged as the overwhelming early front-runner with rivals and commentators alike pinning their primary hopes of unseating him on a potential corruption indictment. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli Knesset has voted to dissolve the current parliament and scheduled new elections for April 9.

In what was largely a formality, the Knesset voted late Wednesday in favor of dissolving by a 102-2 margin.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he was disbanding his coalition and taking the nation to new elections six months ahead of schedule. The country now heads into a three-month campaign.

Opinion polls have suggested that Netanyahu’s nationalist Likud Party will easily win re-election.

But those bright prospects could be hurt by a looming decision by the country’s attorney general on whether to file charges against Netanyahu.

Netanyahu is suspected in a series of corruption allegations. An indictment would put heavy pressure on the long-time leader to step aside.

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