Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid congratulates Benjamin Netanyahu on his election victory


Jerusalem
CNN

Call Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid Benjamin Netanyahu To congratulate him on his victory in the Israeli elections, the Prime Minister’s Office announced Thursday, less than 48 hours after the polls closed.

With nearly all votes counted, the latest projections are that former Prime Minister Netanyahu and his allied parties will win 64 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. Lapid and his allies are expected to win 51. Hadash/Tal, an Arab party that will not support either leader, is expected to win five years.

The Israeli Central Elections Committee announced later Thursday the final distribution of the 25 Knesset seats, giving Netanyahu and his potential political allies 64 seats in the legislature, enough for a ruling majority.

He said on Wednesday that President Isaac Herzog would begin consultations with politicians on forming a new government after the results were formally ratified on November 9.

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

When asked by CNN on Tuesday about his fears he would lead a far-right government if he returned to office, Netanyahu responded with a clear reference to Ra’im, which made history last year by becoming the first ever Arab party to join one. Israeli government coalition.

We do not want a government with the Muslim Brotherhood, which supports terrorism, denies the existence of Israel, and is very hostile to the United States. That’s what we’re going to achieve,” Netanyahu told CNN in English at his polling station in Jerusalem.

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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 in building a stable government over the past four elections is that even some political parties who agree with Netanyahu on issues refuse to work with him for their own personal or political reasons.

The elections marked the highest turnout since 2015 CEC said 71.3% of eligible voters cast their ballots, which was more than any of the last four elections that resulted in deadlocks or short-lived governments.

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