Benny Gantz, whose centrist bloc defeated Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party in a snap election, says he is forming a government that will exclude the current prime minister – signaling the end of Bibi’s era may be near.
The ex-IDF chief said on Thursday that he would not accept Netanyahu’s offer to discuss a unity government, keeping good on his campaign pledge to create a ruling coalition that does not include Bibi.
Speaking with reports, Gantz stressed that his Blue and White alliance “will listen to everyone, but we will not accept mandates imposed on us” – an apparent swipe at Netanyahu’s insistence that the pair should meet.
Blue and White won 33 seats in the Knesset in Tuesday’s snap election, while Likud only secured 31. Gantz said that the results pave the way for him to become prime minister, assuming that a coalition, minus Bibi, can be formed.
If Gantz fails to secure 61 seats in the Knesset, Israel’s political deadlock could continue, forcing the third election this year.
Israel has a parliamentary system, which means voters choose from party lists of candidates to serve in the 120-seat Knesset. No party has won a majority since Israel’s first election, in 1949.
In the 2019 election, about 6 million Israelis were eligible to vote. To enter parliament, a party must pass a threshold of at least 3.25% of the national vote, equivalent to 4 Knesset seats.
With 40 parties running, of which at least 12 have a real chance of passing the threshold, the calculations take time. The Israeli Arabs with 13 seats are now the third party in the Zionist state.
The religious conservative populist party, Shas has 9 seats, while the Russian speaking Yisrael Beiteinu party of Avigdor Lieberman and the Ashkenazi Haredim (United Torah Judaism) both collected 8 seats.
The Labor Gesher party that stands for social democracy, with Amir Peretz have 6 seats, with the Green Politics Democratic Union represent 5 seats in the Knesset this time around.
The Union Right Wing parties, under modern orthodox Zionist Rafi Peretz now have 4 seats, and extremist liberal Naftali Bennett only collected 3 seats in 2019.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2019.