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Israeli election results too close to summon – exit polls



  File photos showing Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Benny Ganz (R)

Initial polls after the second general election in Israel for five months suggest that the result is too close to call.

Central blue-and-white alliance of former military chief Benny Ganz is expected to win between 32 and 34 seats, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Right Party from Likud 31

to 33 seats.

Former Secretary of Defense Avigdor Lieberman may turn out to be a royal producer.

Mr Netanyahu called for a speedy vote after failing to form a governing coalition after the April elections.

Negotiations for the formation of a new coalition are expected to begin as soon as preliminary results come Wednesday morning.

  • The most important things to know about the Israeli election 120-seat Knesset.

    They were followed by the Joint List of Israeli Arabs with 12 Places; Mr Lieberman Nationalist Party Yisrael Beitenu by 10; the right-wing party Yamina with seven; the Chas and Judaism of the Torah ultra-Orthodox parties of nine and eight, respectively; and the left unions of the Democratic Union and Labor-Gesher, with five each.

    Channel 12 news puts the blue and whites ahead by 34 places, and Likud by 33, while News Channel 13 predicts the blue and whites will win 33 seats and Likud 31.

    Exit polls suggested that neither Mr. Mr Netanyahu and Mr Gantz will not be able to form a governing coalition without the support of Mr Lieberman.

    He prevented Mr Netanyahu from forming a coalition after the last election because he refused to give in to a longstanding dispute with religious parties over a bill governing military service for ultra-Orthodox youth.

    During the campaign for this vote, Mr. Lieberman stated that he wanted a government for unity in which Likud shared power with the Blue and White – something that Mr. Netanyahu ruled out.

    If the official results prove unconvincing, President Raven Rivlin will have to decide who gets the mandate to try to form a government. This person will have 28 days to do so with a possible extension of no more than 14 days.


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