- Title: Uncertainty looms in Israel as unofficial election results show no clear winner
- Date: 18th September 2019
- Summary: JERUSALEM (SEPTEMBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS) SIGN AT ISRAEL DEMOCRACY INSTITUTE READING 'DEMOCRACY' IN SEVERAL LANGUAGES YOHANAN PLESNER, PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL DEMOCRACY INSTITUTE THINK TANK, SITTING IN OFFICE PLESNER WRITING (SOUNDBITE) (English) YOHANAN PLESNER, PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL DEMOCRACY INSTITUTE THINK TANK, SAYING: "Well, it's still too early to tell but it's becoming a lot more probable that Netanyahu will remain prime minister perhaps only for a few weeks or a few months. Beyond that, the combination of the election outcome and his legal woes will not allow him to continue to remain prime minister for very much longer." PLESNER TALKING (SOUNDBITE) (English) YOHANAN PLESNER, PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL DEMOCRACY INSTITUTE THINK TANK, SAYING: "Well, in terms of policy, the implications are not extensive because there isn't a big difference between Blue and White, the centre Blue and White and the Likud party on main question of security vis-a-vis Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and policy is very much determined also by the professionals in the defence establishment. The main difference will be who will actually be the prime minister that navigates through those waters and while we've been used to Mr. Netanyahu doing so for the past decade, we might have a new prime minister at the helm who is navigating the stormy Middle Eastern waters." RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (SEPTEMBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS) ARABIC NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES REPORTING ISRAELI ELECTION VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING IN STREET (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ABDEL AZIZ HWEH, 83 YEAR OLD RAMALLAH RESIDENT, SAYING: "The Israeli election don't benefit us, on the contrary it is against us. It doesn't help us at all, that's all I can say goodbye." HEBRON, WEST BANK (SEPTEMBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS) MANS HAND TOUCHING NEWSPAPER VARIOUS OF MAN READING NEWSPAPER VARIOUS OF MAN READING NEWSPAPER (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MAJED SHWEIKE, HEBRON RESIDENT, SAYING: "The results don't matter for us as Palestinians because after a lot of experience with the Israeli election there is no difference between the Israeli parties. As Palestinians, we love peace but for all of them all the Israeli parties share the same agenda and they don't want peace with the Palestinians". MAN WORKING IN FALAFEL STAND HEBRON STREET
- Embargoed: 2nd October 2019 09:32
- Keywords: Israel election Benjamin Netanyahu Benny Gantz Avigdor Lieberman results polls
- Location: NOKDIM, HEBRON, RAMALLAH, WEST BANK/JERUSALEM/ROSH HA'AYIN, ISRAEL
- City: NOKDIM, HEBRON, RAMALLAH, WEST BANK/JERUSALEM/ROSH HA'AYIN, ISRAEL
- Country: Israel
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA006AX6PZ5Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Israel's election remained too close to call Wednesday morning (September 18), with television stations carrying unofficial results showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tied with his main rival, former military chief Benny Gantz.
An official tally was still hours, perhaps days off, but the outcome appeared to be taking shape along the expected lines -- the Netanyahu-led right-wing block more or less even with Gantz's center-left.
With no single-party majority in the Knesset's 120 seats, there will likely be weeks of coalition talks before a new government is formed.
The ballot's wildcard, former Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, emerged as a likely kingmaker as head of the far-right Yisrael Beitenu party.
Israelis voiced mixed feelings over what seemed to be a result that could lead to a unity government, and Palestinians in the West Bank were indifferent to the outcome.
"We might have a new prime minister at the helm who is navigating the stormy Middle Eastern waters," Yohanan Plesner, president of the non-partisan Israel Democracy Institute think tank, told Reuters.
Only 35% of votes had been officially counted by Wednesday morning, showing a tight race between Likud and Blue and White.
(Production: Dedi Hayun, Rinat Harash, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh, Saed Hawari, Yusri alJammal)
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