Israeli leader calls early elections

FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2012, photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a joint press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borissov, not seen, in Jerusalem.  (AP Photo/Gali Tibbon, Pool)

FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2012, photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a joint press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borissov, not seen, in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Gali Tibbon, Pool)

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's prime minister has ordered new parliamentary elections in early 2013, roughly eight months ahead of schedule.

In a televised address, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was forced to order the vote after his coalition could not agree on a budget.

But conditions are ripe for Netanyahu's re-election. Riding high in opinion polls, he faces no serious challenger and could be eager to win a new term ahead of what is expected to be an economic slowdown next year.

Netanyahu began his address Tuesday with a list of his accomplishments, saying his government had boosted security and improved the economy.

He did not set a date, but said it would be "preferable to have as short a campaign of possible" and hold the vote in the minimum three months.


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