- Initial predictions see a minimal lead of the party's blue-white of the challenger Gantz before the Likud party of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
- However, they are too scarce for this to lead to an election winner.
- But whoever can form a government in the end depends on the performance of potential coalition partners.
In Israel's parliamentary election is a close race between the conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his challenger Benny Gantz from. According to first TV forecasts, Gantz's mid-blue-and-white coalition of 36 to 37 is slightly ahead of Netanyahu's Likud, who, depending on the television channel, is credited with 33 to 36 seats.
Despite the brief preliminary results, both sides already declared themselves victors. Benny Gantz published the British Guardian According to a statement in which he reclaimed the victory for himself. "We won!", It says. The elections have a "clear winner and a clear loser". Netanyahu promised and lost 40 seats.
Netanyahu, on the other hand, referred in his speech to the chance of forming a government: "The right-wing bloc under the leadership of Likud has clearly won," he said. He announced that he would start "tonight" to build a "right-wing government" with his "natural partners."
Netanyahu is seeking a fifth term. He would have a good chance even in a narrow defeat. For he may be more likely to form a new government than Gantz with a number of smaller, nationalist and ultra-orthodox parties.
Two television stations clearly saw the right-wing camp with Netanyahu's conservative Likud, the strict religious parties and the right-wing parties with 64 to 66 mandates. The center-left camp with Gantz's blue-white coalition, the Labor Party, the left Merez party and the Arab parties received 54 to 56 seats. In another TV station both camps each came to 60 seats. For a government majority, at least 61 out of 120 mandates are needed.
Calculated possible is also a grand coalition of Likud and blue-white. However, both Netanyahu and Gantz had said in the election campaign that they would not sit in government with each other.
Netanyahu has been in office since 2009 and was also Prime Minister from 1996 to 1999. In the former Chief of Staff Gantz he faced this election for the first time a serious competitor.
President Reuven Rivlin has two weeks to decide who to commission. He calls for recommendations from all parliamentary groups for the office of Prime Minister. Who then has the greatest opportunities for the formation of a government coalition, initially receives four weeks time. Usually the order receives the chairman of the group with the most votes. A new government is expected until the beginning of June.