From L to R: Benny Gantz of Blue and White Party, Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beytenu Party and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud Party. (File photo/Reuters)
From L to R: Benny Gantz of Blue and White Party, Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beytenu Party and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud Party. (File photo/Reuters)

Israel: Likud, Blue and White in a deadlock with over 90 pc of ballots counted

ANI | Updated: Sep 18, 2019 19:56 IST

Tel Aviv [Israel] Sept 18 (ANI): In what was touted to be a close necktie between Likud party and Blue and White, with over 90 per cent of ballots counted as of 6:30 am (local time), the two direct rivals again ending in a deadlock with 32 seats apiece and Avigdor Lieberman led Yisrael Beytenu party likely to win nine seats.
In a repeat of the poll results witnessed in April, the main parties are likely to end in a draw with Joint List, an alliance of mostly Arab Israeli parties, winning twelve seats, followed by the Shas and Yisrael Beytenu with nine apiece, The Time of Israel reported.
Blue and White's Benny Gantz wasted little time in reaching out to potential allies including Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh and Yisrael Beytenu's Liberman.
"I will also speak to Liberman, I intend to speak to everyone," he said. "Starting tonight, we will start work on building a broad national unity government," he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Likud Party chief Benjamin Netanyahu expressed confidence over retaining power despite exit polls showing Benny Gantz, his direct rival from the Blue and White party, taking a slight edge over him in the country's recently culminated snap general polls.
Netanyahu had further expressed his plans to create a 'strong Zionist' government and thwart the formation of an 'anti-Zionist' government.
"Israel needs a strong government, a stable government, a Zionist government, a government that is committed to Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people," he said.
Earlier, Israel's major television channels had predicted a Likud-led coalition at 54-57 seats, coming short of four seats needed to form a government in the Knesset (unicameral national legislature). (ANI)

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