Netanyahu Falls Short Of Majority After Israel’s Election

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Israel’s Prime Minister  has fallen short of capturing the majority needed to form a government, near-final election results showed on Wednesday, deepening a year of political deadlock in the country. 

Netanyahu Falls Short Of Majority After Israel's Election
Netanyahu Falls Short Of Majority After Israel’s Election

In an angry tirade on Wednesday, the long-serving leader conceded he did not have the parliamentary support to form a new government right away.

With nearly all the votes counted, Mr. Netanyahu faces a steep climb to retain his hold on power. He posted a strong showing that underscored his continuing strength despite being under indictment for bribery and other corruption charges.

“This is what the nation decided,” he said. “The public gave me more votes than any other candidate for prime minister in the nation’s history.”

After failing to form a government following two general elections last year and with his legal woes closing in, Netanyahu had been hoping for a clear win in Monday’s vote.

With initial exit polls predicting a near majority for Netanyahu and his nationalist-religious allies, he declared a “great victory” to thousands of jubilant supporters under a torrent of confetti on election night.

But Wednesday’s near-final tally painted a different picture.

With over 99 percent of the votes counted, Netanyahu’s Likud led the way with 36 seats, ahead of challenger Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party, with 33 seats.

Yet with his allies, Netanyahu’s right-wing camp held a total of only 58 seats, three shy of the 61 needed to form a government and no clear path to reaching the threshold.

The Joint List, an umbrella group of Arab-led parties, finished third with 15 seats, an all-time high for Palestinian-majority electoral alliance.

Adelowo Adegboyega
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