The big story, however, is the total collapse of the Left…
DESPITE LEGAL TROUBLE, NETANYAHU SET TO REMAIN ISRAEL’S PRIME MINISTER
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won Tuesday’s election and will be able to form a governing coalition able to withstand a bribery indictment by Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit, according to the results with 98% of the vote counted.
Mandelblit indicted Netanyahu pending a hearing on February 28, details of the indictment that were not permitted to be released during the election could be leaked as early as Wednesday. The hearing is expected to take place in July and the decision on the final indictment some six months later.
The parties that made it clear ahead of the election that they would not require Netanyahu to quit following a final indictment were Likud, Shas, United Torah Judaism, the Union of Right-wing Parties and Yisrael Beytenu, together earning a 61-seat majority.
Likud won 35 seats, Shas and UTJ eight each and URP and Yisrael Beytenu five. Kulanu, whose leader Moshe Kahlon said he would join a Netanyahu-led government but leave following a final indictment, won four seats.
Blue and White won 35 seats, Labor and Hadash-Ta’al six each and Meretz and the United Arab List-Balad four each. The New Right, Zehut and Gesher did not cross the 3.25% electoral threshold. However as this dramatic election has shown, anything could change as the final votes from IDF soldiers, prisoners, hospitalized and diplomats are counted.