Official election results leave parties in deadlock with no clear victor

By Aryeh Savir/TPS

Baku, September 18, AZERTAC

The count of the ballots of the second round of elections in 2019 for the 22nd Knesset shows that no party obtained a decisive victory and that the country will now be faced with political instability until one of the sides can pull forward and establish a government.

The Central Elections Committee stated that some 69.4%, of the eligible voters cast their ballot on Tuesday, 1.5% more than the April elections. With 90% of the votes counted, the results show that the second round of elections did not significantly change the balance of power in Israel’s political scene.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud – 32

Benny Gantz’s Blue and White – 33

Labor + Gesher – 6

The Joint Arab List – 11

United Torah Judaism – 8

Yemina – 7

Democratic Party– 5

Shas – 9

Yisrael Beiteinu – 9

Otzmah Yehudit – 0, failed to pass the electoral threshold.

The main battle is between the right-wing bloc, led by Netanyahu and his Likud party, and between the center-left bloc, led by Gantz and his Blue and White party.

Blue and White and the Likud are tied, but Netanyahu may have better chances of establishing a coalition. On the other hand, President Reuven Rivlin may task Gantz with forming a government following his slight lead over the Likud.

One option being discussed is the formation of a unity government in various configurations.

Member of Knesset Avigdor Liberman, with his nine mandates, could serve as the king-maker who will decide the identity of the next prime minister. He is calling for a broad liberal government which would exclude religious and Ultra-Orthodox elements.

These numbers do not include the soldiers’ votes, which are usually more to the right and can give a boost to the right-wing parties.

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