Israel election underway

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Israelis have begun voting in the country’s second election this year, following a campaign dominated by Benjamin Netanyahu and his vows to implement a far-right, ultranationalist agenda in exchange for a record fifth term as leader.

Voting opened at 7am local time (04:00 GMT) at 11,163 polling stations, with thirty-one parties competing for the 120 seats. 

Al Jazeera reports “It is the first time in Israel’s history that two elections have been held in the same year, after Netanyahu failed to form a government following an election on April 9.

The Guardian reports : “Facing the prospect of criminal corruption indictments and hoping to extend his unmatched stint in the prime minister’s office, Netanyahu has promised to declare up to a third of the occupied Palestinian territories as part of Israel if he is re-elected.”

The election is widely seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

About 68 percent of the 5.88 million eligible voters in Israel and illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem are expected to take part in the poll to choose the party that will lead the country’s 22nd Knesset or parliament.

Haaretz analysis states “There is only one important outcome Tuesday night: Will Likud and the three (or possibly four) other parties expected to endorse Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerge with a majority of 61 seats or more in the new Knesset? With 60 seats or fewer, Netanyahu will not have a governing coalition and new possibilities would open up — though it will not be plain sailing for Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz to build a coalition of his own.”

Via Haaretz / Al Jazeera / The Guardian

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