Israeli elections to be held in mid-February

JERUSALEM (AP) -- A spokeswoman for Israel's Parliament says national elections will be held in mid-February.

That leaves three and a half months for what is expected to be a tough election campaign with significant ramifications for Mideast peace talks.

Hila Mizrachi says elections have been tentatively set for Feb. 10. But she said Tuesday there remains a possibility that lawmakers will pass legislation moving the date a week later to Feb. 17.

Israel moved to hold new elections this week after Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni failed to put together a new governing coalition. She was chosen to lead Israel's ruling party after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced he would step down to face corruption allegations.

Polls this week show Livni running neck-and-neck with her rival, hardline Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

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

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