Why Netanyahu Will Likely Remain PM Despite Tied Result

Why Netanyahu Will Likely Remain PM Despite Tied Result

Why Netanyahu Will Likely Remain PM Despite Tied Result

Exit polls in Israel suggest there will be no clear victor in the country's closely fought general election.

Incumbent premier Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud was on path for victory despite being tied with Blue and White since he would be able to form a coalition government with right-wing and ultra-Orthodox partners.

Both sides claimed victory in the hours after the voting ended.

As their elections were wrapping up yesterday it was obvious that it was going to be a close race, with everyone watching to see how many seats in the Knesset would be held by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party and how many Benny Gantz's Blue and White party could pick up. Challenged on election day, the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, refused to say what the U.S. would do if the Israeli government tried to annex parts of the West Bank.

Gantz, a newcomer to politics, mounted a strong challenge to the veteran prime minister by brandishing his security credentials while pledging to undo damage he says Netanyahu has inflicted on the country with divisive politics. "These elections have a clear victor and a clear loser".

Both claimed victory last night after exit polls last night suggested Mr Netanyahu's right wing Likud party and Mr... He's set to meet with party leaders for their nominations, and he's announced that those meetings will be broadcast live to "ensure transparency for Israel's citizens". He said he expected to forge a new coalition with the right-wing parties he called his "natural partners", but that he meant to be "the prime minister of all the citizens of Israel".

Since no single party has ever captured more than the 60-seat threshold to form a government on its own, coalitions are an established part of political life.

The country's attorney general recommended charging him with bribery, breach of trust and fraud in three cases.

A spokesman for Mr Gantz's party declared: "We won".

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has said he hoped that Israel's elections could help bring peace but senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said Wednesday that the results showed otherwise. The message was equally simple: Blue and White had been created to reclaim the state of Israel from Prime Minister Netanyahu. However, the prime minister is betting on cobbling together a coalition government with other parties on the political right. Channel 12 TV had Blue and White with 37 seats to Likud's 33 seats, while Kan TV put Blue and White ahead 37-36.

He called Netanyahu´s annexation pledge an "irresponsible" bid for votes.

Should his party form a coalition, Netanyahu would be on track later this year to become Israel's longest-serving leader, surpassing founding father David Ben-Gurion.

In a rare turn during the race towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mr Netanyahu further alarmed Palestinians by pledging to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank if re-elected.

But "King Bibi", as some have called him, now faces the prospect of becoming the first sitting prime minister to be indicted. The former military chief Mr Gantz ran, essentially, as the man who was not Mr Netanyahu but could match him for "toughness" on security.

Final results were expected by Friday, though the provisional results showed 65 of the Knesset's 120 seats would go to the right-wing bloc of parties led by Netanyahu, against a total of 55 seats for center-left factions. "They wanted a different way and we outlined it".

Netanyahu, seen here with his wife and supporters at his Likud Party headquarters in Tel Aviv, has already begun coalition negotiations.

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