While Israel’s moon landing was not a success this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could surely celebrate.
The final count of votes on Thursday gave him and his Likud party an additional seat in Parliament – making it the largest faction and punctuating the Israeli leader’s victory.
The results, which were published by the country’s central election commission, showed that the Likud party could win 36 seats in the 120-seat Parliament; compared to 35 seats for the centrist Blue and White party which is the main competing party.
A previous count had the two parties deadlocked.
Overall, Netanyahu’s party facilitates a 65-55 majority, making him head of the next coalition government. Blue and White’s leaders accepted defeat on Wednesday.
The most disappointing performance was by the New Right party. The New Right party lead by Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has fallen short of 3.25 % of the vote to enter parliament. The party was founded by splitting from the Jewish home party to seek more power by engaging to new secular voters. The separation backfired regarding the elections.
The new count did not change much from the initial one on Tuesday but it included votes from soldiers, diplomats, prisoners and hospital patients who voted in difficult circumstances.
The only difference to the previous count was that the Likud party was able to secure one more seat from its allies, the United Torah Judaism which is considered an ultra-Orthodox party.
The voter turnout among Israel’s Arab residents, which was at about 50%, benefitted PM Netanyahu. Netanyahu.
In partnership with the anti-Arab extremists in Israel and the enshrined law last year, which stated that Israel is homeland solely to Jewish people, PM Netanyahu has campaigned against Arab politicians which made Arab communities boycott the elections.