The Israeli Knesset (parliament) approved in the first reading late Monday a bill to dissolve itself and go to early elections on Jan. 22, as requested by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The first reading of the bill to dissolve the Knesset passed with 99 in favor and none opposed, over five months after it passed a nearly identical bill in its first reading before opposition leader Shaul Mofaz joined the ruling coalition at 2 a.m. .
The Israeli legislature is expected to pass the bill after two more readings in the early hours of Tuesday morning, therefore dispersing itself one day after it was reconvened for the winter session.
According to The Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu reassured the public earlier Monday at a meeting of the ruling party's parliamentary faction that "this time it's final. We are going to elections."
Addressing Monday's plenum, Netanyahu recalled his government's achievements in various fields for the past three years, including in the security and education departments, urging the public to re- elect him.
Last week, Netanyahu announced his wish to go for early elections after failing to pass an austerity budget for 2013 within his coalition. The budget plan includes nearly 14 billion shekels (3.7 billion U.S. dollars) of cuts in the ministry spending.