Narrow win predicted for Netanyahu in general elections

Narrow win predicted for Netanyahu in general elections

JERUSALEM: Exit polls on Tuesday predicted a narrow win for incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the country’s third general elections, while his main rival, centrist Benny Gantz has vowed to “continue struggling”.

The polls indicated that Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party gained about 37 seats while Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party got 32-34 seats in the elections that were held on Monday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Meanwhile, the exit polls also showed that Netanyahu’s party and allies gained 59 or 60 seats, meaning the bloc fell short of two or one seat(s) needed for a majority coalition in Israel’s 120-seat parliament or Knesset.

Speaking to his supporters on Tuesday morning in Tel Aviv, Gantz, a former military chief, said that the results of the exit polls were inconclusive, adding that even if the official results matched exit poll data, “Netanyahu couldn’t form a government”.

He said that his party will “remain unified, strong and loyal to our path,” and that the Blue and White “may still force a unity government”, which will also include the Likud party.

“We’re still in this fight,” he added.

Israelis went to the polls on Monday for a third vote within a year in the country’s parliamentary elections, hoping to break the deadlock that has paralyzed the nation’s political system.

Nearly 6.5 million Israelis aged 18 years or older were eligible to cast their ballots in more than 11,000 polling stations. IANS