Further results expected in parliamentary elections in Israel | Free press

The vaccination campaign in Israel is progressing rapidly. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote this on the flag during the election campaign. But whether he can remain in office is uncertain.

Jerusalem (AP) – For the fourth time in two years, the citizens of Israel are being called today to elect a new parliament. About 6.6 million people can vote on one of the nearly 40 lists.

According to the latest polls, right-wing Conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party should once again become the strongest faction despite losses. However, it is unclear whether he will have enough time for another term in office. A narrow majority of the anti-Netanyahu camp is also thought possible by observers. However, according to the studies, a stalemate cannot be ruled out either. Should government formation fail, a new election may be necessary as early as the summer.

Voting starts early Tuesday morning. The first forecasts are expected when polling stations will close at 9:00 pm CET. The official final result will be published a week after the election. However, due to the Corona conditions and a long weekend with a public holiday, possible delays in the voting are expected.

Netanyahu has served as Prime Minister since 2009. He hopes for a new term. During the election campaign, the 71-year-old mainly tried to score points with the rapid corona vaccination campaign and with Israel’s rapprochement with other Arab states. In recent months, however, many Israelis have expressed dissatisfaction with Netanyahu’s crisis management during the pandemic. Infections in Israel were at times significantly higher than in Germany, and civilians had to come to terms with lengthy lockdown phases. Netanyahu is also under pressure over a corruption case against him. The questioning of witnesses begins almost two weeks after the election.

Netanyahu’s biggest challenger in the election is Future Party Chairman, former opposition leader Jair Lapid. About a dozen parties or lists are expected to meet the 3.25 percent threshold required to access the 120-seat Knesset. According to experts, the number of parties entering parliament will likely determine whether Netanyahu can remain prime minister. The result of the right-wing Jamina party, which is settler-friendly, also plays a special role. The chairman, Naftali Bennett, had stood to replace Netanyahu. However, he does not rule out entering into a coalition with the latter. Should he do that, the Jamina Party could gain a majority for Netanyahu.

In connection with the corona, the election will take place under special circumstances. There are considerably more polling stations than previous votes. This to avoid crowds. In Israel it is not possible to vote by mail. For example, people in quarantine must be able to vote in converted buses. Citizens must also be able to vote at Ben Gurion International Airport. About 20,000 guards keep an eye on the elections.

The new elections had become necessary because the alliance between Netanyahu and his opponent in the recent elections, Benny Gantz of the center alliance Blau-Weiß, concluded last spring, was impressed by the corona crisis, after just a few months in the course of a budget dispute. .

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