Israeli president sets stage for new elections

JERUSALEM (AP) -- President Shimon Peres has set the stage for new elections in Israel.

Peres has told Parliament that after consulting with all of the country's political parties there is no choice but to hold elections. He says Israel is heading for "a decisive election campaign" in the coming days.

Peres' announcement Monday comes a day after Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni abandoned an attempt to cobble together a new ruling coalition. He says no other lawmaker is capable of forming a new government.

The move launches what is expected to be a tough race between the moderate Livni and hardline rival Benjamin Netanyahu. New polls show Livni slightly ahead.

The election is expected to take place early next year.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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