Netanyahu set to fall short of clear majority formula, early results show

Jerusalem, Mar 24 (efe-epa).- Early results from Israel’s fourth election in two years suggest the country could be on track for a prolonged political stalemate with incumbent prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu falling short of a clear formula for a majority.

With almost 90% of votes counted, Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party is set to be the largest party in the Knesset, but its traditional alliance with religious and nationalist groups looks like it could undershoot the 61 seats required to form a majority.

Smaller parties will have the power to make or block a coalition, according to projection.

Ra’am, an Arab party that split from the United  List earlier this year, is on track to enter the Knesset and could play kingmaker in a future government.

The count shows the centrist Yesh Atid party, led by Yair Lapid, as the second force in parliament. The Labour Party and the Blue and White party of Benny Gantz secured roughly seven and eight seats each, according to the newspaper Ha’aretz.

The electoral commission expects to finish the main vote count this evening, although some 450,000 ballots from the military, diplomatic corps and from citizens with Covid-19 are yet to be counted, Ha’aretz reported.

The full and final result is not expected until Friday.

Voter turnout was 67.2%, the lowest since 2013.EFE-EPA


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