Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party has managed to overcome the Labour party headed by Ehud Barack. It’s the first time in Labour’s history that it has not been one of the top three political parties.
has achieved the top third position in the Knesset at the expense of the Likud, which cost the latter an overwhelming majority of the vote, in much the same way as Ross Perot cost George Bush Sr
. the 1992 elections in his bid for a second term in the White House. The unofficial results can be seen here
But the parliamentarian system of government differs greatly from the US’s two party system (and in need of reform
), in that the winning party, if it hasn’t won overwhelmingly, has to try and coalesce a government with the remaining parties. Benyamin Netanyahu’s Likud and the Yisrael Beiteinu forms the bigger block with 32 seats, compared to the Kadima-Labour block of 31 seats, and then there is the myriad of smaller parties that are willing to offer their services to the two major blocks for a high price.
It’s not at all clear at the moment who will get the position of Prime Minister, though Likud’s Netanyahu stands an excellent chance, but so does Kadima’s Tzipi Livni, and of course there is the outside chance that both Likud and Kadima will alternate the role of PM between the two parties. One thing is for sure though, the Labour party, having been forced to abandon its tradtional position of being the vanguard of socialism in Israel is left with very little to compete with in the poltical arena. The move towards the center by both the Left and Right, has come at more of a high cost to Labour than it has to the traditional Right-wing. KGS
Both Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s Kadima party and Binyamin Netanyahu’s opposition Likud styled themselves the winners of Tuesday’s elections, after it became apparent that Kadima had won the most seats in the new Knesset, but the Likud-led right-wing would constitute the larger bloc.
With 99.7 percent of the votes counted by 7:00 a.m., Kadima was narrowly leading Likud with a predicted 28 mandates, while the latter had garnered a predicted 27 seats. Israel Beiteinu was expected to earn 15 mandates, Labor 13, Shas 11, United Arab List five, United Torah Judaism four, National Union four, Hadash four, Meretz three, Bayit Hayehudi three, and Balad two.
The final results, including votes from soldiers and emissaries abroad, will only be published on February 18. Overall voter turnout, which observers had feared would be low, was 65.2%, over two percentage points higher than in the 2006 national elections.
NOTE: Finnish TV is hauling the “experts” in front of the camera, to explain the election results, and one of them has already likened the Right-wing’s victory to the rise of Jörg Haider’s Austrian Freedom Party, FPÖ. According to the Far-Leftist professor, Pertti Multanen, who was intereviewed on Finnish MTV3’s morning program, “some of Israel’s parties celebrating victory contain racist elements“. This is the same guy by the way, who has never once mentioned (as far as I know) the overtly racist elements within the Palestinian camps, and their religious supremacism.