Gantz Does Not Concede Elections

11 April, 2019, 00:59 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • An Israeli Arab man walks past an electoral billboard bearing portraits of Blue and White political alliance leaders Moshe Yaalon Benny Gantz Yair Lapid and Gabi Ashkenazi

Haaretz reported that his main rival Benny Gantz - who also declared victory Tuesday night - wrote a note to members of his Blue and White Party early Wednesday saying, the results are not yet final.

After polls closed on Tuesday, former defense minister and leader of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, Avigdor Lieberman, told Israeli news site Haartez that he did not believe the exit polls were accurate, accusing pollsters of "manipulation and psychological warfare".

On March 31, Netanyahu marked ten uninterrupted years as Israel's Prime Minister, in addition to the three years he led the country in the 1990s, and there is little doubt that he's won a place in the A-list of world leaders; for a man leading a country of fewer than nine million people, his clout and recognition are a remarkable achievement. Channel 12 TV had Blue and White with 37 seats to Likud's 33 seats, while Kan TV put Blue and White ahead 37-36.

So both sides still have all to play for.

The final results are subject to change.

The 120 Knesset seats are allocated by proportional representation for competing parties. Some 40 parties took part in the election, and only those that receive at least 3.25% of the votes make it into parliament.

"I'd like to congratulate Bibi Netanyahu", said President Trump after almost complete results put the incumbent premier in position to form a coalition.

The nominee, who does not necessarily have to be the head of the largest party, has up to 42 days to form a government.

Gantz's entry into the political arena had been widely anticipated, and, indeed, hoped for in many quarters. Mr Netanyahu supported the legislation.

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The prime minister recently agreed to bring two fringe right-wing parties, the anti-Arab Otzma Yehudit party and the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party, into his governing coalition.

Speaking to journalists outside his home on April 10 morning, Gantz said "we're waiting until the end of the results". He will then pick a party leader to try to form a coalition, giving the candidate 28 days to do so, with a two-week extension if needed.

Past coalition negotiations have often dragged on.

Netanyahu's party sent monitors equipped with body cameras to a number of polling stations with Arab constituents on election day.

Netanyahu's corruption cases. The prime minister is facing possible indictment in three graft cases, and may learn later this year if he will be formally charged.

The attorney general is expected to hand down his decision by the end of 2019.

Netanyahu will likely focus his efforts on getting guarantees from his coalition partners to continue to back him if he is indicted, and perhaps find a way to grant him immunity from prosecution. There is no guarantee that they will. Voters blamed divisions between Arab factions which had united in the previous election, disillusionment, and a voting boycott campaign rooted in dismay at the 2018 "nation-state" law declaring that only Jews have the right of self-determination in Israel.

Although Netanyahu's coalition will be right-wing, he says he wants to make sure all Israelis are represented.

Victory 15 used voter contacts and activists funded by the State Department grant for One Voice to oppose Netanyahu, the report finds, which was not prohibited because there was restriction on how the peace process infrastructure could be used after the grant expired in 2014.

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