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Israeli parliament clears way for elections on April 9

The Knesset has been dissolved, kicking off the campaign.

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Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with Israeli Knesset member Ayman Odeh (Sebastian Scheiner/AP)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with Israeli Knesset member Ayman Odeh (Sebastian Scheiner/AP)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with Israeli Knesset member Ayman Odeh (Sebastian Scheiner/AP)

The Israeli parliament has voted to dissolve the current legislature and scheduled new elections for April 9.

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

Earlier this week, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he was disbanding his coalition and taking the nation to new elections six months ahead of schedule.

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Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Sebastian Scheiner/AP)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Sebastian Scheiner/AP)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Sebastian Scheiner/AP)

The country now heads into a three-month campaign.

Opinion polls have suggested that Mr 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 Mr Netanyahu.

Mr 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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