Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Israel election: 91 percent ballots counted, Netanyahu close to becoming next PM

With 91 percent of ballots counted in Israel’s parliamentary elections, the right-wing bloc led by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secured a comfortable majority on Thursday with 65 seats in the 120-member parliament, paving the way for his triumphant return. has gone.

According to the latest updates from the Central Election Committee, Netanyahu’s Likud party will receive 32 mandates, Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid 24, Religious Judaism 14, National Unity 12, Shas 11 and United Torah Judaism eight. will be received.

Among smaller parties that cross the 3.25 percent threshold needed to qualify for Knesset or parliament representation, Rama is likely to win five seats, Hadash-Tal and Israel Beitenu will also have five legislators, and the Labor Party will only win four seats.

The left-wing Meretz party, which is hovering close to the threshold, has slipped a little further than qualified.

The Arab party Balad, which broke away from the broad coalition of Arab parties to become independent, also appears to have failed the threshold mark.

Meretz’s qualification could reduce the right-wing bloc led by Netanyahu to 61-62 seats.

Balad’s qualifications, as yet highly unlikely, however, will continue to impasse in Israeli politics.

The counting of votes is likely to be over by Thursday afternoon.

The Netanyahu coalition will include 65 MKs (Members of the Israeli Parliament), while the Lapid Bloc will include 50 and Hadash-Tal five.

A Netanyahu-led government would see a sharp drop in the number of women in the coalition.

According to the Times of Israel newspaper, current results project 9 female MKs in parties that support the former prime minister, with none in the ultra-Orthodox factions.

Based on these results, a potential Netanyahu-led coalition would have nine female MKs, six in his Likud party and three from far-right Religious Zionism, although that figure could increase through ministerial appointments.

The result would mark a surprise comeback for Netanyahu, who is currently facing trial on three corruption counts after a short stint in opposition.

Israel voted on Tuesday for an unprecedented fifth time in four years to break the political impasse that has paralyzed the country.

Israel has been locked in an unprecedented period of political impasse since 2019, when Netanyahu, the country’s longest-serving leader, was accused of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

About 6.78 million Israeli citizens were eligible to elect their 25th Knesset.

Around 210,720 new voters were able to vote for the first time, adding an interesting dimension to the voting for around four to five seats.

For many years, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Netanyahu, appeared to be politically invincible.

But he was dealt a blow after being ousted by an unprecedented coalition of parties whose only common goal was to oust him.

Born in Tel Aviv in 1949, Netanyahu holds the record for the longest tenure as prime minister in the country’s history.

Having previously served in the position between 1996 and 1999, Netanyahu surpassed the record of David Ben-Gurion, one of the Jewish state’s founding leaders, in 2020.


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