On Thursday, a final vote count was released and it indicated that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing allies have fallen short of winning a majority. This has led to one more political deadlock. The past two years have been contentious especially for Netanyahu as he faces diminishing popularity and a slew of corruption cases.
This has been the fourth election in the last two years and the fractured results indicate that there might be a fifth one before the year ends. Long term right wing allies and former partners of Netanyahu had said that they would not form a government with him and the Likud party. They have managed to wrest seats from his party bringing his leadership to question.
In order to form a government in Israel, a party needs to secure a 61-seat majority in the Parliament, which is called the Knesset. Netanyahu and his allies have won 52 seats. His opponents have won 57 seats. However, the opposition consists of parties with extremely diverse ideologies and them coming together to form a government is also quite remote though there are two undecided parties who have not allied with either block.
Yohanan Plesner, the president of the Israeli Democracy Institute has said that his country is experiencing its worst ever political crisis and its political system are such that it is difficult to produce a decision. He says that the crisis is because of the system but adds that it is also because of the Netanyahu factor.
Netanyahu’s supporters believe he is a statesman and a distinguished diplomat. They feel that he has successfully managed the coronavirus pandemic. His opponents say that he is untrustworthy and messed up many aspects while dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. They also say that he cannot come to power when facing multiple corruption charges.
There are a formidable number of permutations and combinations possible as 13 parties have received the required number of votes to join with allies and form a majority. Some of the opponents of Netanyahu’s Likud are planning to “meet again and continue discussions.”