JERUSALEM--The results of a national election in Israel on Tuesday were almost completely in as of Wednesday morning.
With only the votes of soldiers and prisoners still to be counted, the results for Israel’s 19th parliament (knesset) showed a tight race between the right wing and centrist-left blocs.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party won a majority, securing his position to continue as Israel’s prime minister. Netanyahu previously served as prime minister from 1996-1999, following the assassination of then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He briefly served as foreign minister for several months in 2002-2003, and has been prime minister again continuously since 2009.
According to reports from local media, the voter turnout was about 66.6 percent. National elections day in Israel is a national holiday with most businesses and schools closed. Though the primary elections a couple of months earlier were more contentious and narrowed the field, national elections were still closely watched by residents and citizens.
After Netanyahu’s Likud Party win of 31 seats in parliament (a loss for them), the Yesh Atid and Labor Parties came trailing behind with 19 and 15 seats respectively.