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Page last updated at 21:49 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009

In pictures: Israel at the polls

Two boys at a polling station at the settlement of Nokdim, near Bethlehem

Israel has gone to the polls to elect a new government, weeks after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced his decision to step aside.

An Israeli border policeman and a Jewish Orthodox man at a school in Jerusalem

No one party is expected to get enough votes to win outright, so will have to form a coalition government with smaller parties.

Arab Israelis demonstrating

Israeli Arabs demonstrate against far right-wing politician Baruch Marzel, who was appointed to serve in the Israeli-Arab city of Umm Al-Fahm as chief observer at a polling station.

Demonstration by members of the anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox Neturei Karta group

Some of Israel's anti-Zionist Jewish population did not take part in the poll, but voter turnout was high.

Benjamin Netanyahu in Sderot

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who had been seen as the front-runner, voted early and then toured some Israeli cities, including Sderot on the border with Gaza.

Tzipi Livni voting

The other favourite was the foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, who leads the ruling Kadima party.

Ehud Olmert

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Kadima did not stand in these elections, facing a corruption probe that triggered an early poll.

Ehud Barak at a polling station

Labour leader Ehud Barak, whose party enjoyed uninterrupted power for much of Israel's history, was reduced to fighting for third place behind Kadima and Likud.



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