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article imageIsrael's Netanyahu falls short of majority to form a government

By Karen Graham     Mar 25, 2021 in Politics
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing allies fell short of winning a parliamentary majority in Israel’s latest election, according to a final vote count released Thursday.
According to the Chicago Tribune, 99.5 percent of Tuesday's vote has been counted and neither Netanyahu’s allies or those determined to topple him have a majority. The remaining uncounted votes will likely not affect the election results.
Tuesday's vote was the fourth in two years and was seen as a referendum of Netanyahu's fitness to serve as Israel's leader, seeing as he is facing multiple corruption charges. But neither the pro-Netanyahu camp nor his highly fragmented opponents gained 61 of the required 120 seats in the Knesset, or Parliament.
Netanyahu's side captured 52 votes while his opponents got 57 votes. In the middle were two undecided parties: Yamina, a seven-seat nationalist party, and Raam, an Arab Islamist party that won four seats. The big problem now is that pro- and anti-Netanyahu blocs could make it difficult for either side to secure a majority with them.
"It's apparent that our political system finds it very difficult to produce a decisive outcome,” said Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute, who called it Israel's worst political crisis in decades. "This is a result of inherent weaknesses in our electoral system, but it's also because of the Netanyahu factor."
“It is clear that Netanyahu does not have a majority to form a government under his leadership,” said Gideon Saar, one of the former Netanyahu allies who now oppose him, reports Politico. “Action must now be taken to realize the possibility of forming a government for change.”
Of course, Israeli voters have one other option - A fifth election later this year.
More about Netanyahu, fourth election', no majority vote, political deadlock, a fifth election
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