Israel Election Result 2019: Netanyahu and rival Benny Gantz Headed for Deadlock :- On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s long grip on power appeared in jeopardy after elections left him tied with his main challenger Benny Gantz raising the prospect of tough negotiations to build a unity government or even the end of the premier’s long rule.
Israel Election Result 2019
Signs of how demanding negotiations were likely to become in the evening as sources in Netanyahu’s office said that he was cancelling a planned trip next week to the United Nations General Assembly due to the “political context” in Israel.
Various Israeli outlets reported that Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud had 31 seats, while Gantz’s Blue and White took 32 out of a total 120 seats. But with more than 90% of the vote counted, Gantz’s slim lead gave no obvious path for either party to form a majority coalition, raising the possibility of negotiations towards a unity government.
After Netanyahu received their consent that now, through Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, he would be conducting coalition talks, they asked how they could know he wouldn’t betray them somewhere down the line. “I promise you, that won’t happen,” he told them. United Torah Judaism’s Yaakov Litzman and Moshe Gafni pressed him again and again, and he repeated: “I won’t abandon you. We’re together in this.” He complained, “I lost because the media deliberately anesthetized the Likudniks. They conveyed that I’d definitely bring in 61 [seats]. It wasn’t even close.”
Netanyahu and rival Benny Gantz Headed for Deadlock
He further said, “Next time, we have to improve the way we work, prevent the waste of votes, unite from the start, exploit the amazing potential of the right.”
The reports were citing elections committee sources as that level of results had not been officially posted yet. If the results hold, it will be a major setback for Netanyahu, who hoped to form a right-wing coalition similar to his current one as he faces the possibility of corruption charges in the weeks ahead.
With a hoarse voice and appearing haggard after days of intense campaigning, Netanyahu spoke before supporters in the early hours of Wednesday and said he was prepared for negotiations to form a “strong Zionist government”. He seemed to hint at openness to forming a national unity government but did not specifically say so.
Gantz, addressing supporters in Tel Aviv, called for a “broad unity government” but cautioned that he was waiting for final results. “We will act to form a broad unity government that will express the will of the people,” the former armed forces chief said. “We will begin negotiations and I will speak with everyone.”
On Wednesday morning when journalists approached him as he headed out for a run, Gantz said, “We’ll wait for the final results … and wish Israel a good unity government.”
Netanyahu was due to address members of his party later Wednesday.