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Israel election results: Deadlock persists, Netanyahu calls for external support

Benjamin Netanyahu

The support for Israel’s opposition has increased but dipped in case of Likud party as Netanyahu’s critics highlighted corruption charges against the country’s longest-serving leader.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)

Tel Aviv, March 24: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be unable to form a government for the seventh time signalling continued political deadlock. Thus political paralysis to exist in Israel as Netanyahu’s right-wing alliance still remains short of the majority needed to form a stable government .

Israel on Tuesday conducted its fourth election in less than two years to elect 120 members for the 24th Knesset (Parliament).

With final results not due until later in the week, the preliminary results from 89% of the regular polling stations reported by the Central Elections Committee.

Netanyahu nevertheless in a social media post said that Israelis had “given a great victory to the right and to the Likud under my leadership”. But Netanyahu’s bloc of Likud, Shas, United Torah Judaism and the Religious Party was found to have won 59 seats along with Yamina, two short of a majority.

Netanyahu took to Twitter to thank the people of Israel for giving his Likud party a big lead against all others as he reached out to Knesset members asking them to support his cause in forming the next government.

 Netanyahu urged all elected members of parliament to support him and his party in forming the next government, warning “any other option will bring us sooner or later to a fifth election and we must not go there”.

The exit polls conducted by Channels 11, 12 and 13 were nearly identical, showing Netanyahu and his allies with 53-54 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, Israel’s parliament. His opponents were projected to win 59, and Naftali Bennett’s Yamina party was projected to win 7-8, Jerusalem Post reported.

The support for Israel’s opposition has increased but dipped in case of Likud party as Netanyahu’s critics highlighted corruption charges against the country’s longest-serving leader.

He did not repeat the claim in an election night speech at a Likud rally and said that its projected number of seats in parliament, approximately 30, was “a great achievement” and that he hoped to form a “stable right-wing government”.

Elections were necessitated after the “unity government” between Likud and Blue and White failed to approve the Budget 2020 on a set date. The people were fed up with coalition government with rotating premiership between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz.

The 23rd Knesset officially dispersed on December 23. Netanyahu who is undergoing trial on corruption charges, has failed to gather votes on the two issues : economic recovery from the pandemic, peace treaties already signed with four Arab nations, which he thought would be plus points.

The 24th Knesset will be sworn in on April 6. President Reuven Rivlin is set to give a candidate a mandate to form a government the following day.

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