Israel: Riding On Right Wing Support, Benjamin Netanyahu Set To Become Prime Minister For The Fifth Time
Israel: Riding On Right Wing Support, Benjamin Netanyahu Set To Become Prime Minister For The Fifth Time  Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO via Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to become Israel’s longest serving premier despite his Likud party winning the same number of seats as his rivals.

Both Likud and rival Blue and White party, led by former army general Benny Gantz, had won 35 seats in the 120-seat Israeli parliament, the Knesset, after counting of 97 per cent of votes, The Guardian has reported.

Despite getting similar number of seats, Netanyahu would be in a much better position than Gantz to form a majority coalition government as the incumbent Prime Minister has support from other right wing parties. The right bloc is in a 10 seats lead over the bloc after 95 per cent of votes being counted, as reported by Haaretz.

However, the final results might not be in until late Wednesday (10 April) afternoon, or later, and the coalition building process could take weeks.

Netyanyahu, who has served for ten consecutive years and was seeking a fifth term, faced a stiff competition in the elections from Gantz, who sought to present a unifying and centrist alternative to the incumbent prime minister.

Even before clearing of the air on the election results, both Netanyahu and Gantz had declared victory to their supporters based on exit polls.

“In elections there are losers; in elections there are winners; and we are the ones who won,” Gantz had said in a premature victory cry.

Netanyahu, on the other hand, said that Tuesday (9 April) was “a night of tremendous victory” and that he had already started talking to the right-wing parties.

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