Israel awaits final results of elections, Netanyahu appears to be in the lead

March 24, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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After a night in which the constantly updating exit polls fluctuated, Israeli citizens are awaiting the results of the elections to see who will lead them in the coming four years.

After counting some 80% of the eligible votes by Wednesday morning, it appears that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party are in the lead with 31 seats, Yesh Atid has 18 seats and Shas has 10 seats, United Torah Judaism got 9 seats and Blue and White received 8.

Yemina has 7 seats, and the Religious Zionism party has 6 seats so far.

Netanyahu can form a government of 63 seats if Yemina, headed by Naftali Bennet, joins him. Bennet sought to replace Netanyahu, but with only 7 seats, he has failed in that mission. His political views are similar to that of Netanyahu, and he has previously sat under Netanyahu’s premiership in several of his governments, and therefore such a political move seems plausible.

A coalition of several parties with diverse and conflicting views seeking only to replace Netanyahu is unlikely.

Bennet has vowed to ensure that Israel will not go to a fifth round of elections, and so Netanyahu’s sixth term appears to be secure.

Netanyahu stated in his speech very early Wednesday morning that “it is possible and necessary to establish a stable government in Israel. A government that our economy obliges us to form. I reach out to all members of the Knesset who believe in these principles. The state needs a stable government. We must in no way drag Israel to the fifth elections – a stable government must be formed now.”

He said he talked after the closing of the polls with all the members of the right and told them “let’s do the responsible action and form a stable government, a government that will take care of all the citizens of Israel.”

He vowed to “spare no effort in speaking with all the members of the Knesset to bring a stable government to Israel. This is what the citizens of Israel expect us to do. Prevent fifth elections and establish a good and stable government for Israel.”

“I reach out to all members of the Knesset who believe in these principles! I do not disqualify anyone, and I expect those who believe in these principles to behave in a similar way to us,” he said, possibly inviting former party members who ran against him to return to the Likud.

The voters’ turnout was low and stood at only 67.2%, the lowest figure since 2013.

4,420,677 Israelis voted in the election, a decrease of 4.3% from the elections to the 23rd Knesset.

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