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Israel holds unprecedented third election in a year

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to cast his ballot during the Israeli legislative elections at a polling station in Jerusalem.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to cast his ballot during the Israeli legislative elections at a polling station in Jerusalem. Atef Safadi/Pool Photo via AP

In this election, 29 political parties are vying for a spot in the Knesset. Two parties are certain to finish comfortably ahead of the rest: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s Likud, and Benny Gantz‘s Blue and White.

Likud is on the right of Israeli politics, while Blue and White has positioned itself as centrist.

Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz and his wife Revital vote in Rosh Haayin, Israel.
Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz and his wife Revital vote in Rosh Haayin, Israel. AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner

Both leaders know they will need to rely on the support of smaller parties to form a coalition – and about six (possibly seven) other parties are expected to cross the 3.25% electoral threshold necessary to secure representation in parliament. Two parties representing the ultra-Orthodox communities can expect to win seats.

There is also a party that positions itself to the right of Likud, called Yamina, and another to the left of Blue and White, known as Labor-Gesher-Meretz, that can both expect to secure representation. There is also an alliance of parties representing Israel’s Arab communities, the Joint List, which is confident it will finish third. Lastly, there is Yisrael Beiteinu, the party led by former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. He could be a kingmaker if the result is as close as polls predict.

CNN


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