Tel Aviv, 10 April 2019 (MIA/dpa) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to be on course for a record fifth term in office as preliminary counting in Israel’s election showed him and his right-wing bloc leading the faction of his main rival, former army chief Benny Gantz.
With 97 per cent of votes counted, Netanyahu’s Likud party appeared set to win 35 out of 120 seats, tied with Gantz’s Blue and White party, Israeli media reported early Wednesday.
The right-wing bloc, with which Netanyahu is likely to form a coalition government, is set to secure 65 seats in total. The centre-left bloc is set to win 55 seats.
Israel’s next prime minister will be the candidate most likely to be able to form a coalition with enough parties for a government of at least 61 members of parliament.
Both Netanyahu and Gantz had already claimed victory after conflicting exit polls emerged Tuesday night.
Netanyahu is bidding to overtake David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding father, as the country’s longest serving prime minister.
The new parliament is set to be sworn in on April 23 and new government is expected to be sworn in by the beginning of June.