Netanyahu holds lead to win election, as almost all of votes counted

Former prime minister and Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu is poised to become Israel’s next prime minister, according to the counting of almost all of the ballots. By Wednesday afternoon, Netanyahu held his lead with more than 80 percent of the votes counted across the country.

Arab party Balad was originally said to be close to crossing the threshold but by Wednesday afternoon that option seemed to dissipate. Had it happened, Netanyahu’s bloc would have potentially dropped to 60 seats, one short of a coalition majority. Likud had sent an urgent letter to the police commissioner on Tuesday night demanding that allegations of voter fraud in the Arab sector be immediately investigated. 

According to the exit polls on Tuesday night, Netanyahu’s bloc, which includes Likud, Religious Zionist Party (RZP), United Torah Judaism (UTJ) and Shas, crossed the 61-seat threshold and will be able to form the next coalition.


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