Oznia, a blog of Israel things

~28 < 27, sometimes by ronshapiro

With 99% of the votes counted, it looks like Kadima will edge out Likud, 28 to 27.  150,000 eligible absentee votes still have to be counted (of soldiers), and because soldiers normally vote more right, the seat numbers are not final.  As of right now, the numbers look like they will be:

Out of 120:

Kadima :: 28

Likud :: 27

Yisrael Beiteinu :: 15

Labor :: 13

Shas :: 11

United Torah Judaism :: 5

Meretz :: 3

Jewish Home :: 3

National Union :: 4

Hadash :: 4

United Arab List – Ta’al :: 4

Balad :: 3

Even though Kadima will most likely have one more seat than Likud, that doesn’t guarantee Tzipi Livni to be Prime Minister over Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu.  Because the right is much stronger, with Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas having a combined 26 seats, Bibi probably has a better chance to form a coalition government of 61+ seats.  It is up to President Shimon Peres to decide who he believes will great the strongest coalition.  Either way, both Kadima and Likud will both be part of the majority in the 18th Knesset.

Avigdor Lieberman, Yisrael Beitenu Chairman, now plays a big role in who Shimon Peres will pick.  If he sides with Likud (rightest) over Kadima (centrist), Bibi could become PM over Livni.  This could end up happening, since the extreme rightest Yisrael Beiteinu shares more of its beliefs with Likud over Kadima.  Lieberman could make his demands very high, since his 15 votes are critical to either party.  Whoever gives him a better cabienet position will most likely become the new PM.

Once Shimon Peres decides who he believes has the best shot at forming the coalition, that party Chairperson has 21 days (and an extra 21 days if needed) to form a government.  If they can’t, then Peres will pick a new candidate who will have the 21 (with 21 extra) days to try and do a better job.


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