Netanyahu is on his way to lead the most right-wing government in Israel ever, partial results indicate for Israel


Jerusalem
CNN

Benjamin Netanyahu Looks like he’s on his way to a bigger victory in Fifth Israeli elections In less than four years than initial polls suggested, the country’s three major television channels were shown on Wednesday morning.

Likud and its natural allies are currently expected to win 65 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, with 86% of the vote counted as of Wednesday noon Israel time.

Netanyahu’s Likud coalition, Jewish nationalist-Jewish Zionism/Jewish Power Bloc, Shas and United Torah Judaism would be, on paper, the most right-wing government in Israel’s history.

It appears that current Prime Minister Yair Lapid and his allies are on track to win 50 seats. An Arab coalition called Hadash Tal is expected to win five seats, and is unlikely to support Netanyahu or Lapid to lead the country.

The Central Election Commission said turnout was 71.3%. That’s the highest since 2015, according to the commission — higher than any of the four previous elections, from 2019 to 2021, which produced deadlocks or short-lived governments.

Since initial opinion polls Tuesday night, a left-wing party called Meretz appears to have fallen below the 3.25% threshold to win any seats in the Knesset. If the party can win enough national votes to sit in Parliament, the final results may change.

These are not final results. One in five votes nationwide still has to be counted. Final results may appear later on Wednesday, but it may take until Thursday.

Netanyahu’s return to the head of government will lead to fundamental transformations in Israeli society. It will include the newly rising National Jewish Zionist Religious/Jewish Power Alliance, whose leaders include Itamar Ben Gvir, who was once convicted of inciting racism and supporting terrorism.

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Netanyahu’s allies have talked about making changes to the judicial system. That could put an end to Netanyahu’s corruption trial, in which he pleaded not guilty.

Netanyahu himself was a major issue not just in Tuesday’s election but in the four that preceded it, as voters – and politicians – split into camps based on whether or not they want the man known globally as Bibi in power.

Part of the difficulty of building a stable government over the past four elections is that even some of the political parties that agreed with Netanyahu on issues refused to work with him for their own personal or political reasons.

It will take some time for the official results to come in – they may be ready as soon as Wednesday, but it could be Thursday before the final line-up for Israel’s 25th Knesset is clear.

This is partly because parties need to win at least 3.25% of the total vote in order to gain any Knesset seats at all, a minimum that was set in an effort to facilitate coalition building by keeping very small parties out of the legislature.

To determine how many seats each party gets, election officials first need to determine which parties have crossed the threshold. Then they can determine the number of votes needed to win one seat in the Knesset, and distribute the seats to the parties based on the number of votes they received..

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