Israel Elections: Netanyahu And Rival Locked In Tight Race

by Ritu Versha 4 years ago Views 1357

Israel Elections
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his centrist challenger, the former army chief Benny Gantz, are locked in a tight race in a general election. Exit polls show them neck-in-neck with 32 seats apiece, as 96.9% of votes in Israel's Tuesday election have been counted, the Kan public broadcaster says. 

According to the partial results, Netanyahu’s Likud party and Grantz’s Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) party won each 32 out of 120 Knesset (Parliament) seats. Netanyahu's bloc, comprised of right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties, currently stands at 56 seats. The center-left bloc, excluding Arab parties, has 43 seats. 

In the latest development, Democratic Camp candidate and former prime minister Ehud Barak have urged Gantz to form a temporary minority coalition with his party, Labor and Yisrael Beytenu, with support from the Joint List from the opposition. 

Yisrael Beiteinu's leader Avigdor Lieberman is expected to be the election's kingmaker. On Wednesday morning, he reiterated that he would only support a government comprising both Likud and Blue and White. 

This was the second national election in five months, after Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition following an April vote. With no single-party majority in the Knesset’s 120 seats, there will likely be weeks of coalition talks before a new government is formed. 

Exit polls on Tuesday night predicted that Netanyahu's right-wing bloc would gain 53-55 seats. The biggest party, according to polls, was Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan.

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