The Likud Party, led by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has emerged as the winner in Tuesday’s parliamentary elections, the Jerusalem Post reported.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting on Wednesday morning, Likud won 29 seats while the Zionist Union came in second with 24 seats.
Per the Post:
The parties that follow are Joint Arab List (14); Yesh Atid (11); Kulanu (10); Bayit Yehudi (8); Shas (7); United Torah Judaism (6); Yisrael Beytenu (6); and Meretz (4).
Eli Yishai’s far-right Yahad party has thus far failed to make the cut, though it has hovered near the minimum threshold throughout.
The results were a surprise due to the fact that pre-election polls published on Friday showed the Zionist Union in the lead. This prompted Netanyahu to promise that if he remained in power, no Palestinian state would be established, The Associated Press reported. He also railed against Israeli Arabs, The New York Times noted, for having the temerity to vote.
Netanyahu served as prime minister for three years in the 1990s and returned to office in 2009. A fourth term would make him Israel’s longest serving leader, Reuters reported. He took to Twitter to declare victory.
“Against all odds: a great victory for Likud, a great victory for the national camp led by Likud, a great victory for the people of Israel,” Netanyahu wrote.
More from The WorldPost on the Israeli elections:
– Israelis Head To The Polls
– The Many Faces Of Israel Are On Display As Millions Head To Vote
– These Are The Main Candidates Vying For Votes
– Netanyahu Says No Palestinian State If He Is Re-Elected
– Key Facts About Israel’s Election System
– 10 Israeli Voters Lay Out Their Hope For The Future
Source: Huff Post