Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has agreed to hold early elections on April 9, after the ruling coalition appeared to come up short on votes needed to pass a contentious piece of court-ordered legislation.

Netanyahu said his coalition “unanimously” agreed to disband the government and hold a new election. At a meeting of his Likud faction, he listed his accomplishments in office and said he hoped his current religious, nationalistic coalition would be the “core” of the next one as well.

“We will ask the voters for a clear mandate to continue leading the state of Israel our way,” he said to applause from party members.

Netanyahu’s coalition has been roiled by internal divisions for months, but a new law extending the military draft to ultra-Orthodox men appears to have triggered the government’s downfall.

Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox partners are demanding the legislation be weakened and his small parliamentary majority seems to be making such a compromise impossible.

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