UPDATE: Or Not; Third Time's the Charm: Netanyahu Finally Locks Down Prime Ministership, Israeli Government

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Posted: Mar 02, 2020 4:45 PM
UPDATE: Or Not; Third Time's the Charm: Netanyahu Finally Locks Down Prime Ministership, Israeli Government

Source: (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

UPDATE: It appears Netanyahu will no longer be able to form a government despite initial vote counts. 

***Original post***

After a third-election over the past two years in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has finally locked down a resounding victory that will successfully lead to the establishment of a coalition government. 

From the Jerusalem Post

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu succeeded in winning 60 seats for his bloc of right-wing and religious parties in Monday’s election, one less than he needed for a majority in the Knesset, according to exit polls on the three television networks.

The exit polls indicated that Netanyahu’s Likud won 36-37 seats. Its allies in Shas, UTJ and Yamina won 9, 7-8 and 6-7 respectively. The polls gave Blue and White 33 seats, its ally Labor-Gesher-Meretz 6-7, the Joint List 14-15 and Yisrael Beytenu 6-8.

The numbers are expected to change overnight. The votes of IDF soldiers, who tend to lean to the Right, have not yet been counted and the Joint List tends to go down a seat when the soldiers’ votes are added. But if the Right does not obtain its 61st seat, it could end up being because the far Right Otzma Yehudit party refused Netanyahu’s repeated requests to quit the race.

The outright victory in Israel’s third election in under a year is expected to enable Netanyahu to quickly form a right-wing coalition after having headed a caretaker government since December 2018.

While Netanyahu, from the Likud Party, has beat out Blue & White opponent Benny Gantz in the past two elections, he was unable to form a government. As a result, new elections were held. 

After the results came in showing a victory, Netanyahu tweeted "thanks" and a photo with the caption, "A huge victory for Israel."