Netanyahu expected to lead Israel’s most right-wing government, according to projections

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Benjamin Netanyahu appears to be on course for a bigger victory than initial polls suggested in Israel’s fifth election in less than four years, according to projections made by the country’s three main television channels on Wednesday morning.

His Likud party and its allies are expected to win 65 of the 120 seats in the Knesset – Israel’s parliament – ​​according to projections made with 86% of votes counted on Wednesday afternoon, Israel time.

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A coalition of Netanyahu’s Likud, along with the Jewish nationalist bloc Religious Zionism/Jewish Power, Shas and United Torah Judaism would, on paper, be the most right-wing government in Israel’s history.

Current Prime Minister Yair Lapid and his allies appear to be on their way to winning 50 seats.

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An Arab alliance called Hadash-Taal is projected to win five seats, and it is unlikely to back either Netanyahu or Lapid to lead the country.

Turnout was 71.3%, the Israeli Central Election Committee said. It is the highest number since 2015, according to the Committee – higher than any of the four previous elections, from 2019 to 2021, which resulted in deadlocks or short-lived governments.

Since the first exit polls on Tuesday night, a left-wing party called Meretz appears to have fallen below the 3.25% threshold of votes to win any Knesset seat. If the party gets a sufficient percentage of the national vote to win seats in parliament, the results could change.

These are not final results, as one in five votes in the country has yet to be counted. The final results may come out this Wednesday, but it may take until Thursday to be released.

Netanyahu’s return as head of government would mean fundamental changes for Israeli society. It would include the burgeoning Jewish nationalist alliance Religious Zionism/Jewish Power, whose leaders include Itamar Ben Gvir, convicted in the past for inciting racism and supporting terrorism.

Netanyahu’s allies also talked about making changes to the judicial system, which could end Netanyahu’s corruption trial, in which he pleaded not guilty.

Netanyahu himself was a major issue not just in Tuesday’s election, but in the four that preceded it, with voters and politicians divided over whether or not they want him in power.

Part of the difficulty in building a stable government in the last four elections is that even some political parties that agreed with Netanyahu on some issues have refused to work with him for personal reasons or political interests of their own.

Official results may come out this Wednesday, but they may take until Thursday. This is in part because parties must win at least 3.25% of the total vote to win Knesset seats, a threshold set to facilitate coalition building by keeping very small parties out of the legislature.

To determine how many seats each party gets, election officials must first determine which parties have crossed the threshold. Then they can calculate how many votes are needed to secure a single Knesset seat and allocate seats to parties based on the number of votes they get.

Source: CNN Brasil

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