March 25, 2023

The opposition bloc of centrist outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid wins 51 seats

Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing allies secured a majority of 64 seats out of 120 in the Israeli parliament following Tuesday’s general election, Israel’s electoral commission said Thursday.

With 32 seats for Netanyahu’s Likud party, 18 for ultra-Orthodox parties, and 14 for a far-right alliance, his rightist bloc won a total of 64 seats, according to results published by the commission.
The opposition bloc of centrist outgoing prime minister Yair Lapid won 51 seats.

Earlier in the day, Lapid congratulated Netanyahu and instructed his staff to prepare an organized transition of power, his office said.

“The state of Israel comes before any political consideration,” Lapid said. “I wish Netanyahu success, for the sake of the people of Israel and the state of Israel.”

The 73-year-old Netanyahu secured his comeback after 14 months in opposition. He remains on trial over corruption allegations, which he denies, with the case returning to court on Monday.

Netanyahu had already begun talks with coalition partners on the makeup of a new government, Israeli media reported, but there was no immediate confirmation from his Likud party.

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog will next week give Netanyahu 42 days to form a government.

Netanyahu, who has served as premier for longer than anyone in Israel’s 74-history, will then be tasked with sharing out cabinet posts with his coalition partners.

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