“Israeli” Politics Deadlocked after 2nd Election
By Staff, Agencies
After failing to secure a clear election victory for the second time this year, “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must wait days – or more likely weeks – to learn if he can stay in office, or whether he must step aside.
With “Israeli” media reporting more than 90 percent of votes counted in Tuesday's election, the bloc led by Netanyahu's right-wing Likud Party was almost neck and neck with the centrist grouping led by his chief rival, the former general Benny Gantz.
Netanyahu's bloc looked poised to control 55 of parliament's 120 seats, with 56 going to Gantz's Blue and White Party, and his natural partners. Both fall short of a majority government of 61 Knesset Members.
Many things hinge on the outcome: chiefly whether it is the beginning of the end of the Netanyahu era, or if the man known to his supporters as "the magician" can conjure up a record fifth premiership, and claim a public mandate to help fight off corruption allegations.
Just over 4 million “Israelis” voted in 11,000 polling stations. It takes a long time to count the votes because they are cast on paper ballots.
Translated into seats, that put Gantz on about 32 seats, and Netanyahu 31 – but the final tally could be different. Without an unequivocal majority, neither of the two men has a clear path to power.
Avigdor Lieberman, a former War minister, seems to be the central figure in negotiations.