Israel Elections 2022: Netanyahu is for a comeback

Image source: US News

Israel’s former premier Benjamin Netanyahu was poised to return to power, saying on Wednesday that his right-wing camp was on the cusp of a resounding election win.

With roughly 70% of votes counted, Netanyahu’s conservative Likud and its likely religious and far-right allies were on pace to control a majority in parliament. Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s short-lived ruling coalition hailed largely from the centre-left appeared to collapse.

“We have won a huge vote of confidence from the people of Israel,” a smiling Netanyahu told cheering supporters at his Likud party election headquarters. “We are on the brink of a very big victory.”

His voice hoarse from weeks of campaigning across the country, Netanyahu vowed to form a “stable, national government,” as the crowd interrupted him singing “Bibi, king of Israel.”

Though the landscape could shift as the ballot count trickles in, the partial tally showed Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption he denies, leading a bloc of four parties taking 67 of the Knesset’s 120 seats.

Less than 18 months out of office, Netanyahu said he would wait for official results.

The record 12-year consecutive reign of Israel’s longest-serving prime minister ended in June 2021 when centrist Lapid managed to stitch together an unlikely coalition government of liberals, rightists and Arab parties.

But the fragile alliance unravelled a year into its rule.

Lapid has stopped short of conceding the election and said he would wait until the final count.

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