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Final Israel election results leave Netayahu on course

AFP  |  Jerusalem 

Final results from this week's Israeli election published Friday left on course to remain although there were reports of pressure on him not to form another narrow right-wing coalition.

The newspaper quoted a as saying that was trying to convene a meeting between Netanyahu and his defeated centrist challenger on forming a broad government of national unity.

Such a government would enjoy a comfortable majority in Israel's 120-seat parliament and enable it to take difficult decisions on public spending cuts and the future of controversial military service exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jews free of pressure from special interest groups.

A for the president's office said he had no word of any plans for such a meeting, when contacted by AFP.

No political party in Israel's more than 70-year history has ever won a majority entirely alone and Netanyahu faces a choice between forming a new coalition of right-wing and religious parties, or a grand alliance with the centre.

Speaking after declaring victory in Tuesday's election, he pledged to form a right-wing government.

But the looming prospect of indictments in several corruption cases against him, which he is determined to fight from office, makes him vulnerable to demands for concessions from smaller party allies.

The final results gave Netanyahu's right-wing 36 votes, one more than Gantz's centrist Blue and White alliance.

It was also one more seat than preliminary results had given to the Likud.

But the representing ultra-Orthodox Jews, won seven seats, one less than in the preliminary results, meaning that the right-wing and religious bloc still commands a total of 65 seats.

The final results confirmed that the newly formed far-right party of two prominent members of the outgoing government, and Ayelet Shaked, failed to pass the three-percent threshold required to win seats in parliament.

The poor showing by their New Right party, which had been projected to be a major potential coalition partner, was one of the upsets of the election.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 12 2019. 18:41 IST