Israel's parliament decides to dissolve itself

Israel’s parliament decided in a preliminary vote today to dissolve itself, but three more votes are required to clear the way for early elections.

The legislature voted 84-10, with eight abstention, even as President Moshe Katsav weighed a request by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to dissolve parliament by presidential decree.

Katsav has said he would decide quickly whether to let parliament set a date for early elections, or pre-empt the legislators.

In either case, elections are widely expected to be held in March, eight months ahead of schedule.

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