Netanyahu to speak with right-wing and religious allies from Shas, UTJ and Religious Zionist party
After splitting the opposition, Netanyahu made sure to keep his bloc whole, forcing the three splinter far-right parties National Union, neo-Kahanist Jewish Power and homophobic Noam to unite in the joint Religious Zionism list. This time, he ensured that not one right-wing vote would be squandered.
Likud bleibt zwar mit 30 Mandaten die stärkste politische Kraft, aber selbst mit seinem ultrarechten Rivalen Naftali Bennett von der Jamina-Partei käme sein Lager nur auf 59 von 120 Mandaten. Die arabische Partei Ra’am schafft die 3,25-Prozent-Hürde und ist nun Zünglein an der Waage.
Ra’am erhält fünf Mandate.
Official final results are not expected before Friday. But the partial tallies suggested that both Mr. Netanyahu’s alliance and its opponents would need the support of a small, Islamist Arab party, Raam, to form a majority coalition.
The bloc that wants Netanyahu to form the next government – Likud, Shas, UTJ and the Religious Zionist Party – received 46 seats.
The bloc that does not want him to remain prime minister – Yesh Atid, New Hope, Yisrael Beytenu, Labor, Blue and White and Meretz – received 54.
„Unite now, fight later,“ Bennett said at a Tel Aviv press conference in which he proposed passing a bill to freeze the current political situation for six months.
Liberman suggested a government of only Likud and Blue and White to deal with the coronavirus on Thursday in an interview with the Russian-language Channel 9.
„We must not reach a situation in which one of [the right-wing] parties doesn’t pass the electoral threshold, thus wasting thousands right-wing votes,“ the statement added.
In addition, it said that Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Rafi Peretz and Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben-Gvir call on National Union’s Bezalel Smotrich to „Close ranks as soon as today, and join the ranks of religious Zionism. National Union is an inseparable part of the Union of Right-Wing Parties.“
MK Ofer Shelah of Kahol Lavan, who was interviewed after Tibi, said he did not rule out such a proposal.
While not enough to form a coalition on its own, Channel 12 reports Netanyahu is hoping that Rivlin will consider the 55-seat bloc as a single party and therefore agree to task the premier with forming the next government for having a bigger faction than the standalone Blue and White party.
It was decided to form a joint coalition negotiations team for all factions in the bloc.
In addition to Netanyahu, the meeting saw the participation of Minister Yariv Levin and faction heads: Yaakov Litzman, Moshe Gafni, Naftali Bennett, Rabbi Rafi Peretz, Ayelet Shaked, and Bezalel Smotrich.
The poll also contains good news for Netanyahu – it has the far-right Otzma Yehudit party passing the electoral threshold and receiving four seats, giving the right-wing bloc led by Likud 59 seats without the support of Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu – close to the 61 required to create a coalition, with the center-left bloc garnering 54 seats.