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Israel Elections: Netanyahu Emerges Victorious
Mar 20, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared headed for a record fourth term after his Likud party emerged as the surprise winner in Israel's general elections based on a campaign revolving around no compromise attitude on Palestine's statehood.

  • With nearly all votes counted, Netanyahu's party is set to emerge as the single largest party with 29 seats in the 120-member Parliament (the Knesset) five seats more than the closest rival the Zionist Union led by Isaac Herzog in a mandate considered a clear victory in the fractured Israeli polity.

  • In the current Parliament Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud Party has 18 seats.

  • The party registered victory on a campaign revolving around strong security for the Jewish state focused on denying Iran nuclear capability and a non-compromising attitude in the peace process with the Palestinians.

  • The Joint List of Arab parties has also made remarkable gains emerging as the third-largest party with 14 mandates, followed by Yesh Atid, Kulanu, Habayit Hayehudi, Shas, Yisrael Beiteinu, United Torah Judaism and Meretz.

  • Ballots were cast at 10,372 polling stations throughout Israel on 17 March with 65.7 per cent of the nearly  5.89 million eligible voters participated in the snap polls called last December after Netanyahu's coalition government started to fall apart.

  • 65-year-old Netanyahu, who has been in power for nine years over three terms, claimed victory for his ruling party and invited potential coalition partners to immediately enter talks for the swift formation of what is expected to be a religious-nationalist government.

  • Zionist Union leader Herzog, who led in opinion polls before the elections, conceded defeat but vowed to fight for the issues on which his party contested the elections.

  • Netanyahu could become Israel's longest-serving leader if he secures a fourth term. His victory is likely to further strain relations with the Palestinians.

  • Hours after his triumphant victory speech to Likud party supporters, Netanyahu said that he would aim to form "a strong, stable government" that would tackle "security and socioeconomic challenges."

  • He said that his government will work to improve on the most important things for all of us, which is genuine security and socio-economic welfare.


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