Status: 03/24/2021 5:05 a.m.
Even after the fourth election within two years, there is no clear winner in Israel. Predictions see Netanyahu Likud ahead. But once again it will be difficult to forge a government alliance.
From Tim Assmann,
ARD-Studio Tel Aviv
Immediately after the polling stations closed, Israel’s television stations announced their forecasts. On all three channels, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party was not only ahead as expected. She also became very clearly the strongest force. Then, late in the night, Benjamin Netanyahu stepped in front of his followers.
We achieved great success that evening and made the Likud the largest party in Israel by a very wide margin. Just look at the difference: we have the number 3 in the first place. And the party that comes after us has the number 1 in the first place.
ARD-Studio Tel Aviv
However, the Likud will, in all probability, perform worse than in the last election around a year ago. Israel’s successful vaccination campaign did not bring Benjamin Netanyahu a landslide victory, but it may have given the decisive boost.
Another parliamentary election in Israel
Mike Lingenfelser, ARD Tel Aviv, topics 22:35, 23.3.2021
No parliamentary majority for Likud Alliance
Together with his declared political partners, the two strictly religious Jewish parties Shas and United Torahudism as well as the ultra-right party of Religious Zionism, Netanyahu Likud does not have a parliamentary majority. Netanyahu announced that he would now hold talks on a coalition in the right-wing camp.
I am not excluding anyone, and I expect those who believe in our principles to act in the same way. And just as I brought Israel peace agreements and vaccinations, I will bring Israel a stable government too.
Netanyahu could help the right-wing, settler-friendly Jamina party of former Defense Minister Naftali Bennet to gain a majority. He does not commit himself further and after announcing the forecasts he said he wanted to wait for the final results.
With the strength that you have given me, I will act on one principle only: for the good of Israel. I am determined to advance right-wing values in any government that will come into being.
Preliminary final result probably on Friday
It is not yet ruled out that the so-called anti-Netanyahu bloc, with Bennet’s support, can also achieve a majority of at least 61 of the 120 seats in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. The previous opposition leader Jair Lapid. whose liberal future party was the second strongest force, sees an opportunity to change power, because in interim results during the night the Netanyahu camp performed slightly worse than in the first forecasts. Lapid stated:
We’ll have to wait and see the end result, but it looks like there won’t be a government with the racist vote. I have started my first talks with party leaderships. We are waiting for the results. We will do everything we can to build a sane government for Israel.
The preliminary final result is not expected to be available until Friday. The count is still running. Due to the corona pandemic, there is a record number of around 600,000 postal votes. After a polarized election campaign in which everything revolved around the person of Netanyahu, the prime minister charged with corruption, the fourth Israeli parliamentary elections in just two years are unlikely to have resulted in a clear result. The country is once again facing a difficult government formation and possibly even a new number five election.
Election in Israel: narrow result looming
Benjamin Hammer, ARD Tel Aviv, 24.3.2021 · 06:38