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Netanyahu's Likud Party Wins Israeli General Election


Supporters of the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) political alliance celebrate after watching a TV poll at the alliance headquarters in Tel Aviv on April 9, 2019.

With nearly complete results in from Israel's April 9 general election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party is positioned to form a right-wing coalition that puts Netanyahu in office for his fifth term.

The website of Israel's parliament, the Knesset, posted an official tally with 96 percent of the votes counted on April 10 that shows Likud and other right-wing parties have won from 65 to 67 seats in the 120-seat legislature.

Likud also was on track to win the most votes, although it was closely contested by the Blue and White party of Netanyahu's main rival Benny Gantz.

Likud was projected to win 38 parliamentary seats while the Blue and White party was expected to take 35 seats.

Meanwhile, several smaller nationalist parties that have pledged support for Netanyahu won enough seats to guarantee Netanyahu a coalition with a parliamentary majority.

Earlier on April 10, with about half of the votes counted, Netanyahu declared victory and told a crowd of his supporters they were responsible for an "almost inconceivable achievement."

In a victory speech repeatedly interrupted by cheering supporters early on April 10, Netanyahu vowed to establish a right-wing nationalist government.

The final official results are expected later on April 10.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP

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