Netanyahu secures majority in stunning comeback to power in Israel

Jerusalem, Nov 3 (EFE).- Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is poised to secure a solid parliamentary majority in a stunning return to power in Israel, propelled by the far-right.

With over 90 percent of the ballots in the Tuesday elections counted, Netanyahu’s Likud party and its far-right partners were on track to win 65 seats in the 120-member parliament.

According to the most recent poll results, Likud has already won 32 seats.

Its partners, the Religious Zionism Party (RZP) and two ultra-Orthodox parties that make up the pro-Netanyahu bloc, won 14 and 19 seats, respectively.

In contrast, the defeat of the anti-Netanyahu bloc, led by incumbent Prime Minister Yair Lapid, is almost certain.

Yesh Atid, Lapid’s centrist party, would be the second largest party with 24 members. But its center, right, and left partners’ dismal show has weakened the bloc.

In total, they have 55 seats, including the 12 of the National Unity party, led by the current defense minister, Benny Gantz.

The historic Labor Party, which ruled Israel for four decades, appeared set to win just four seats compared to the seven it won in the last election.

The pacifist Meretz would have to stay out of parliament as it failed to cross the electoral threshold for the first time since its creation in 1992.

Most of the regular votes have already been counted. Basically, the so-called double-envelope ballots remain, coming from military bases, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, and embassies.

The election on Tuesday was the fifth held by Israel in less than four years.

Pre-poll surveys had predicted a technical tie, with no coalition winning a sufficient majority to form a government.

It raised concerns about the electoral process extending indefinitely and another election likely in 2023.

But the current results imply that Netanyahu’s party could govern comfortably with a reasonably homogeneous right-wing coalition. EFE


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