Saturday, March 2nd | 22 Adar I 5784

March 3, 2020 6:24 am

With Most Votes Counted, Official Israeli Elections Results Show Win for Netanyahu, but No Governing Majority

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avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands next to his wife Sara as he waves to supporters in Tel Aviv, March 3, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

With 90% of the vote counted on Tuesday morning, official results in Israel’s 2020 elections showed a victory for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party, though the right-religious bloc he leads still fell short of a governing majority.

Israeli news site Walla reported that the results had Likud as the largest party, with 36 seats in the next Knesset. Likud’s top rival, the centrist Blue and White party, won 32 seats.

The largely-Arab Joint List party won 15 seats and the Sephardi ultra-Orthodox party Shas took 10.

All other contenders were in single digits: Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox party United Torah Judaism won eight seats, the left-wing alliance Labor-Gesher-Meretz seven and the right-wing Yamina party six.

Secular-nationalist party Yisrael Beiteinu, which has been a wild card since its leader Avigdor Lieberman prevented the formation of a right-wing government last April, setting off two more rounds of elections, took seven seats, which could well make it the kingmaker or spoiler in upcoming coalition talks again.

In terms of potential coalitions, the results showed that neither the right-religious or center-left blocs had won a clear majority of 61 seats. The right-religious bloc led by Netanyahu won 59, while the center-left took 54, with Lieberman holding the balance between them.

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