Elections in Israel: The first polls indicate that Benjamin Netanyahu’s party will not reach a majority to form a government

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara Netanyahu, are coming to vote

After the polls closed in Israel, The first polls indicate that there will be no clear winner in the fourth elections held in the country over the past two years. According to the exit gates, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party won the most seats. However, the majority of the government will not be guaranteed.

Initial shows from the three largest radio stations in Israel give Likud Between 31 and 33 of the 120 members of the Knesset (Parliament).Significantly more than its closest competitor, Yesh Atid, a centrist party that is expected to win between 16 and 18 seats.

After knowing the first predictions, Netanyahu indicated that the Israeli legislative elections had been awarded A colossal victory for the right. Citizens of Israel, thank you! I have given a colossal victory to the right and Likud under my leadership (…) It is clear that the vast majority of Israeli citizens belong to the right and want a strong and stable right-wing government, ”he said. The Prime Minister on his social media.

Israelis voted after weeks of gradual economic reopening, with more than half of the population vaccinated, bringing a sense of normality back to the streets.

The Likud party led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won the elections in Israel, but it needs support from other sectors to form a government (Reuters / Ammar Awad)
The Likud party led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won the elections in Israel, but it needs support from other sectors to form a government (Reuters / Ammar Awad)

Agreements to normalize Israeli relations with four Arab countries – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan (this is in the absence of a final agreement) – is one of the other electoral achievements through which Netanyahu aspires to extend the renewed mandate. Consecutively since 2009.

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She reassures her traditional ultra-Orthodox partners – Shah and United Torah Judaism – and the far-right religious Zionist party, with strong racist rhetoric, led by Bezalel Smotrich. This endorsement would allow Likud to reach 53 or 54 seats. however, 61 seats are needed to have a majority in Parliament.

Netanyahu’s main rival in the row over the prime minister is Yair Lapid, from the center Yesh atid, But with an estimate of between 16 and 19 seats, he will need to add the rest of the lists that were presented to topple Netanyahu, such as Gideon Saar, who left the Likud party to create Nueva Esperanza, which expects 9 seats. .

Nevertheless, the prime minister can form a majority-right coalition with the support of the radical conservative leader. Naftali BennettWhich will occupy about seven or eight seats, according to the polls.

Benjamin Netanyahu needs Naftali Bennett's support to form a government in Israel (Atef Safadi / Ball via Reuters)
Benjamin Netanyahu needs Naftali Bennett’s support to form a government in Israel (Atef Safadi / Ball via Reuters)

Bennett, a critic of the prime minister’s administration, signed a statement on Sunday in it He confirms that he will not be part of the Lapid government, but without clarifying whether he will join the Netanyahu government. The current Israeli Defense Minister said: “I will only do what is good for the State of Israel.”

“If Bennett joins his coalition, Netanyahu is closer than ever to forming a narrow government that includes the most extreme elements in Israeli society,” he said. Johann PlesnerPresident of the Israeli Institute for Democracy, after knowing the preliminary results.

For this part, Benny Gantz, the centrist Blue and White party, and the left-wing Meretz, which both struggle to cross the electoral threshold, will win 7, 8, 6 and 7 seats, respectively. The United Arab List will lose its seats to eight or nine deputies; The Islamist Raam, who broke away from the coalition, does not cross the electoral threshold.

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The far-right and secular Israel Nestro Hogar party, led by Avigdor Lieberman, and opposed to negotiating with Netanyahu, will have 6 to 8 representatives.

If Netanyahu cannot reconcile with Bennett and his opponents cannot unite, a fifth election may take place.

The turnout, two hours before the polls closed, was 60.9%. Almost five percentage points lower than in the previous election last year. In all, 6,578,084 Israelis over the age of 18 were called to vote at 13,685 polling stations.

After four elections, Netanyahu seeks to form a government in Israel (Reuters / Corinna Kern)
After four elections, Netanyahu seeks to form a government in Israel (Reuters / Corinna Kern)

Netanyahu, 71, is Israel’s longest serving prime ministerBut her inability to form a government majority plunged the country into a political blockade.

The prime minister is on trial on corruption charges, allegations he denies, but which helped fuel the protest movement with weekly demonstrations outside his Jerusalem residence.

Although he has said he will not obstruct the trial and that he hopes to be acquitted, his critics suspect that if he succeeds in forming the government, he may seek parliamentary action to delay or end the process.

Election day, Palestinian militants fired a missile from Gaza at BeershebaShortly after Netanyahu visited the southern city.

“A shell was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory,” the army said, and a spokeswoman said the missile hit an open area in the first such attack since January. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

With information from AFP and EFE

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