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Deadlock prevails as counts resume in Israeli elections

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YERUSA ALE EU (AP) – The recount of the voting results in Israel resumed on Thursday in the deadlocked parliamentary elections that took place earlier this week. Neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor those determined to overthrow him found a clear way to form a government.

Tuesday’s vote, Israel’s fourth parliamentary election in two years, was widely seen as a referendum on Netanyahu’s rule during an indictment.

With about 95% of the vote, Netanyahu and his allies predicted 52 seats, compared to 57 of his opponents. There are two unorientated parties in the middle. Yemen is a seven-member nationalist party led by Netanyahu’s former lieutenant և Raam, an Arab Islamist party that won four seats. Neither Naftali Bennett of Yamina nor Mansour Abbas of Ram has committed to any camp.

Deep differences between the various parties will make it difficult for the parties to gain a majority. Arab parties have never joined the ruling coalition, and such an alliance is anathema to nationalist parties. Netanyahu’s ally, Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the Religious Zionist Party, said on Thursday that “no right-wing government will be formed with the support of Abbas.” Era. Not on my watch. ”

Johanan Plesser, president of the Israel Institute for Democracy, said the stalemate was “the worst political crisis in Israel in decades.”

“Obviously, our political system is very difficult to achieve a decisive result,” Plessner said. He added that the typical weaknesses of the Israeli electoral system are complicated by the “Netanyahu factor”. The well-known Prime Minister, who is under indictment, is struggling to stay in power. “The Israelis are divided on this issue.”

Several opponents of Netanyahu have begun discussing the progress of a bill to disqualify the indicted politician to form a government aimed at banning the long-serving prime minister. A similar bill was introduced in 2020. After the March elections, but it was not accepted.

In all three cases, Netanyahu was charged with fraud, breach of trust and bribery. He denied any wrongdoing, and denied any wrongdoing by the media.

Despite his accusations, Netanyahu’s Likud party won about a quarter of the vote, making it the largest party in parliament. A total of 13 parties received enough votes to enter the Knesset, the highest number since the 2003 election, representing a number of ultra-Orthodox, Arab, secular, nationalist-liberal factions.

The final vote count was expected to end on Friday.

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