Racing in a neck and neck challenge with Benny Gantz, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won the election. He has secured his position for the fifth term.
The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, won the Israeli national elections on Wednesday. He will be forming a coalition government, backed by the right-wing faction, for the fifth term in the country.
Despite tied results, the 69-year-old Netanyahu appeared on the track for victory. As per the Knesset website and the Israeli TV channels reports, the right-wing leader’s Likud party and Benny Gantz’s new centrist Blue and White party were running with 35 seats.
According to the initial vote count, neither candidate occupied a ruling majority. With this victory, Netanyahu is now on the road to become the longest-serving Prime Minister in 71-years of Israel’s history. He has been in power since 2009, leading the country for a total of 13 years. This includes his first term in the 1990s.
“It is a night of colossal victory,” Netanyahu was quoted by the local media, while the crowd chanted “He’s a magician”.
Former military chief, Benny Gantz, 59, who was contesting his first election, has also claimed victory based on preliminary exit polls.
On Tuesday, exit polls marked a lead for the Blue and White Party. By Wednesday, incumbent PM Benjamin Netanyahu emerged as the evident winner.
“We are the victors. We want to thank Benjamin Netanyahu for his service to the nation,” said Gantz.
With the final result of the elections, smaller parties would assume powerful positions that would transform marginal political figures into kingmakers.
After tallying the votes, President Reuven Rivlin will pick a party leader to form a coalition within 28 days. The duration could get an extension of two weeks, if required.