Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (File Photo, Image credit: ABC News)

Parties struggle to form government as Israel gets another fractured verdict

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party once again emerged as the single largest party with 30 seats in the House of 120 as Israel once again struggles to have a stable government. The country went to poll for the fourth time on March 23 in the last two years.

Though his party got the highest number of seats its performance was not on par with the last time when it won six more, that is 36 seats. The Likud-led alliance got 52 seats, still short by nine. The opposition alliance of smaller parties got 57 seats.

While the Labour Party, which ruled for almost the first three decades of Israel’s existence, from 1948 to 1977, won seven seats, five more than the last election held exactly a year back, the figure of Benny Gantz’s Blue and White got reduced from 33 to eight.

It was expected that Netanyahu, who is the longest serving PM of Israel, would improve Likud’s position by proper handling of vaccination drive, but the result went otherwise. The corruption charges against him and his indictment perhaps weighed heavily against him.

Yesh Atid bagged 17 seats, an increase by one while Shas got nine, same as last time.

Yamina won seven, that is an increase by four and UTJ’s and Yisrael Beiteinu’s tally remains seven, as last time.

The figure of Religious Zionist is six, that is, an increase by four.

And Joint List (an Arab party) won six seats, that is less by five.

New Hope got six seats. Thus, its tally increased by four.

Meretz got six seats, that is plus two than last year.

Ra’am, led by Mansoor Abbbas, emerged victorious in four seats as last time. The key to the formation of government is in the hands of Naftali Bennett’s Yamina, which won seven seats, and Arab Islamist party Ra’am. These two parties with total eleven seats are at present not in alliance with anyone. But Bennett who broke away from Likud is not inclined to join hands with Netanyahu again. Ra’am, on its part, will support any government from outside. But Netanyahu has a problem, as he cannot take support of any Hamas-type Islamic party within the Jewish nation.

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