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Friday, March 24, 2023

Netanyahu Poised for Comeback in Israeli Elections

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Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared well placed to return to power following Tuesday’s election after exit polls showed his right-wing bloc heading for a narrow majority lifted by a strong showing from his far-right allies.

Israel’s longest-serving premier, on trial over corruption charges, which he denies, was poised to take 61-62 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, according to Israeli television exit polls.

The early exit polls may differ from the final result of the election, which is not expected until later in the week. Still, the results pointed to a stronger-than-expected showing by the right.

Israel TV exit polls suggest Mr Netanyahu’s bloc will command 61 or 62 seats in the 120-seat knesset (parliament).

According to the polls, Likud stands to be the biggest party, with 30-31 seats, commanding a majority with the support of nationalist and religious parties.

Likud’s ultranationalist ally Religious Zionism appears to have won 14 seats, which would make it the third largest party.

The centre-left party of incumbent Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who brought down Mr Netanyahu in elections last year, is forecast to win 24 seats.

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