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Israel Election: Gantz Fights To Reverse Recent Dip In Polls

28 February 2020 International News

 Benjamin Netanyahu and his main rival, Benny Gantz, have both vowed to lead Israel’s next government, despite early results and exit polls appearing to show neither had a clear path to form a coalition.

An inconclusive result from the country’s second election this year could plunge Israel further into political mayhem, with the prospect of weeks of tense political deal-making or even a third vote.

With 62% of the vote counted, official results put the opposition Blue and White party on 25.66% and rivals Likud on 25.03% with a total of 25,000 actual votes between them.

Israeli news outlets, citing sources within the country’s elections committee, reported that around 90% of votes had been counted and showed a dead heat with the two main parties at 32 seats in the Knesset each, below the 61 needed to secure a parliamentary majority.

With both Netanyahu and Gantz almost certainly requiring support from smaller parties to form a government, minor differences in official results could significantly alter the outcome of the vote. A large turnout from Israel’s Arab minority could also impact the result.

Netanyahu has sought to extend his record-breaking time as prime minister by forging alliances with hardline religious politicians and appealing to far-right ultra-nationalists.

In a 3.30am speech to his party in Tel Aviv, the sullen-looking prime minister spoke on stage in a hoarse voice, after spending the day rallying his supporters with a megaphone.

The Guardian

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