World Bulletin / News Desk
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Tuesday for an early election.
Opinion polls suggest Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party will be the frontrunner in the national vote likely to be held in January or February, some eight months ahead of schedule.
Netanyahu, in office since 2009, said in a televised address that bickering among his coalition partners over proposed cuts in the 2013 budget was a main reason for heading to the polls.
"Therefore I have decided for the benefit of Israel to hold elections now," he said.
Parliament will dissolve itself in the coming days and fix the election date, with Netanyahu in charges of a transitional government until a new administration is sworn in.
A fresh ballot-box victory would mean the Israeli leader would embark on a new mandate at roughly the same time as the next U.S. president takes office.
Thousands of supporters poured into the streets of the capital island Male on Friday night and continued their protest rally till early Saturday, the joint opposition said in a statement issued in Colombo.
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