Israeli voters head for 2nd ballot this year

JERUSALEM

Israelis began casting their ballots for the country’s early parliamentary elections on Tuesday morning. 

Israel is holding its second general elections this year, due to premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure to form a government after the previous poll conducted in April. Observers expect there may be a third round of elections if the crisis of forming government continues.

The Israeli Central Elections Committee said in a statement on Tuesday that more than 6.3 million people were eligible to vote at 10,915 polling stations across Israel which are set to close at 10:00 p.m. (1900GMT) on Tuesday.

Thirty two electoral lists are competing for 120 seats in the Israeli parliament, or Knesset. Observers and opinion polling centers expect only 10 of those lists to win the parliamentary race.

On Tuesday morning, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said he would do everything within his power to prevent a third round of elections.

“I will do everything I can to prevent further elections and to establish a government quickly,” the president vowed in a Facebook video.

Earlier this year, Netanyahu’s Likud party failed to secure the required majority to form a government following the April ballot.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara
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