Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Israel sets March election

Israeli officials set an early parliamentary election for March 28 on Tuesday, a day after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon rocked the nation's political system by quitting his rightist Likud to found a centrist party. Lawmakers will put the final touches to a motion to dissolve parliament and hold early elections and will approve it in three separate votes on Wednesday, a parliamentary official said.The election had been scheduled for November 2006, but President Moshe Katsav struck a deal with the parliament speaker and attorney general on Tuesday to bring it forward because of the crisis triggered by Sharon's political thunderbolt.In a move that could reshape Israeli politics for years to come, Sharon quit the party he co-founded three decades ago, saying he could not push for peace with the Palestinians while "wasting time" battling far-right rivals in Likud.


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