Israel’s government decided Monday to hold early elections in April with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu struggling to keep together a one-seat majority in parliament as he also faces potential corruption charges in the months ahead.
Despite Netanyahu’s recent legal and political troubles, polls have indicated he would remain prime minister after new elections, putting him in line to become Israel’s longest-serving premier.
Heads of parties in Netanyahu’s coalition agreed to hold the polls in early April “in the name of budgetary and national responsibility,” a statement issued on their behalf said.
The government was preparing a bill to dissolve the Knesset, or parliament, and hold elections on April 9, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said.
Elections were not due until November, but there had long been speculation the coalition would not last that long, especially in recent weeks.
Netanyahu, speaking to journalists, laid out what he sees as his achievements and said he hoped for a similar coalition to the current one, seen as the most right-wing in Israel’s history.