Netanyahu looks to form right-wing government after victory

                           

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to form a right-wing governing coalition on Thursday after securing victory in a high-stakes Israeli election despite a strong challenge from a centrist alliance.

The results from Tuesday’s vote came despite corruption allegations against the 69-year-old premier and kept him on course to become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister later this year.

The allegations are likely to play an important role in coalition negotiations as many analysts expect Netanyahu to demand pledges from potential partners to agree to remain in his government if he is indicted.

Netanyahu will rely in part on politicians of the nationalist right opposed to a Palestinian state to put together his government.

His current government is already seen as the most right-wing in Israel’s history, and his next is expected to be similar if not even further to the right.

Netanyahu himself, in a campaign pledge just three days before polling day, pledged to begin annexing settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Applying sovereignty in the West Bank on a large scale could effectively end remaining hopes for a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu’s pledge was widely seen as an appeal to the far right, and it appears to have worked: he boosted the number of parliamentary seats for his Likud, while smaller, far-right parties struggled.

READ  EU Mission Not In Nigeria To Select President – Envoy

The Likud said late on Wednesday that Netanyahu “will form a right-wing government and he is already in advanced negotiations with the national camp partners.”

‘Advanced negotiations’
Throughout the campaign, Netanyahu highlighted his bond with US President Donald Trump, who has swung US policy sharply in Israel’s favour and openly backed the prime minister.

On Wednesday, Trump said the incumbent’s election to a fifth term gives the White House’s long-awaited peace plan, expected to be released in the coming weeks, a “better chance”.

It was not clear what he meant.

He also tweeted a picture of a Netanyahu supporter waving a Trump flag and telephoned the premier to offer congratulations.

The election was seen as a referendum on the veteran prime minister, who has built a reputation as guarantor of Israel’s security and economic growth, but whose divisive right-wing populism and alleged corruption led to calls for change.

The results reflected his deft political skills, Israel’s shift to the right and wide satisfaction with Netanyahu’s achievements, but also the fact that many voters are fed up with him.

READ  Fayemi Reveals Why Governors Insist On Creation Of State Police In Nigeria

The new centrist Blue and White alliance put together by ex-military chief Benny Gantz will finish with a similar number of seats to the Likud even though it came together less than two months before the polls.

Gantz’s alliance, which conceded defeat on Wednesday night, however could not peel away enough right-wing votes to unseat Netanyahu.

The results showed that the Likud together with other right-wing parties allied to the prime minister would hold around 65 seats in the 120-seat parliament.

Final official results are expected to be announced by Friday.

They leave President Reuven Rivlin, who must ask one of the candidates to form a government, with little choice but to pick Netanyahu.

Intensive coalition negotiations could drag on for days or even weeks.

Rivlin said he would begin consultations with party leaders next week ahead of making his decision.

His office said the consultations would be broadcast live in their entirety for the first time.

‘Make life bitter’
Gantz, a 59-year-old former paratrooper, mounted a strong challenge by brandishing his security credentials while pledging to undo damage he says Netanyahu has inflicted on the country with divisive politics.

READ  I Carried Shatta Wale For 13 Months In My Womb - Mother

“We respect the decision of the people,” Gantz said Wednesday night.

Former finance minister Yair Lapid, who co-led Blue and White, vowed to “make life bitter for the Netanyahu government”.

The close race between the two main parties had led to uncertainty after polls closed Tuesday night and exit surveys were released.

Both Netanyahu and Gantz claimed victory after the initial exit polls, though even then it appeared Netanyahu was best placed to form a coalition.

Speaking in the early hours of Wednesday at the Likud’s post-election party in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu called it a “magnificent victory.”

The vote had been expected to be close as Netanyahu faced potential corruption charges.

Fighting for his political life, he spent the weeks ahead of the vote campaigning furiously to energise his right-wing base.

Netanyahu has been premier for a total of more than 13 years.

But “King Bibi,” as some have called him, now faces the prospect of becoming the first sitting prime minister to be indicted.

The attorney general has announced he intends to charge Netanyahu with bribery, fraud and breach of trust pending an upcoming hearing.

Recommended For You

1 Comment

  1. AFRICAN DATING AGENCY ORGANIZATION,THE BEST CERTIFIED RELIABLE AGENCY COMPANY IN NIGERIAN/GHANA
    ARE YOU SEEKING FOR A RICH SUGAR MUMMY/DADDY/LESBIANS/GAY/ IN NIGERIA, GHANA, ANYONE INTERESTED SHOULD CONTACT AFRICAN DATING AGENCY ORGANIZATION DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR IN NIGERIA VIA(+2348145236851)the only true legitimate agency for people who are seeking for rich and wealthy sugar mummy/daddy/lesbian/gay/ in Nigeria/Ghana u can also have the opportunity to attend our sugar mummies parties and the executive ladies and men parties by contacting Africa dating agency.
    for all works of life, we covered all the state in Nigeria/Ghana/ we are fully registered and recognized
    by CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION, read more
    about us on our official
    magazine called African dating magazine,were you find lots of comment and testimonies of people we have render our service from January 2010 up till date,
    we have links with ladies who are EXECUTIVES, BUSINESS DIRECTORS, ENTREPRENEURS, BIG TIME OIL LADIES, BANKERS, GOLD DEALERS, LADIES WHO OWNS THEIR OWN COMPANIES, OIL RIGS, AND we also have them in FOREIGN COUNTRIES, LIKE DUBAI LONDON, PARIS, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, we are around the world…. WE DELIVER UNIQUE, RELIABLE, CONFIDENTIAL SERVICE TO ALL OUR CLIENT But you must be very presentable, handsome, pretty and humble, you must also be very good on bed.
    If you are very sure of yourself that you have all these qualities…. then contact African dating agency for hookup within 48 hours and make cool cash, anyone interested should start calling now for hookup…
    NAME….JAMES BALOGUN
    FB ID… BALOGUN SODIQ JAMES
    EMILE ADDRESS…BALOGUNS60@YAHOO.COM
    WHATSAPP NO…….+2348145236851

Leave a Reply