Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

Monitoraggio attraverso i media internazionali delle elezioni in Israele del Febbraio 2009

Polls open in Israel’s election

Posted by gaetanoditommaso su 10 febbraio, 2009

10 February 2009

Polls have opened across Israel in an early election called by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is stepping down.

The favourite to become prime minister is Binyamin Netanyahu, leader of the right-wing opposition party, Likud.

But his opinion-poll lead has been reduced in recent weeks by Tzipi Livni, who heads the centrist Kadima, the largest party in the government.

Mr Olmert announced months ago that he was standing down in the face of corruption allegations.

An attempt to form a new government without elections failed.

Israel imposed a closure on the West Bank during the voting, banning Palestinians from entering Israel. Israeli soldiers have already voted.

On Monday Israel’s politicians made a final push for votes.

Mr Netanyahu and the head of the nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, Avigdor Lieberman, made visits to one of Judaism’s holiest sites, the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem – regarded as occupied territory under international law.

Ms Livni and the head of Labour, Ehud Barak, both planted trees – in different places.

Opinion polls suggest that about 20% of voters are not sure who to vote for – and that many others are unenthusiastic about their choices.

Wet, windy weather may keep voter turnout low. About 5.3 million people are eligible to vote at more than 9,000 polling stations.

Even if Ms Livni does pull ahead of Mr Netanyahu, pollsters think right-wing parties are likely to dominate the Knesset and she could struggle to form a coalition, says the BBC’s Bethany Bell in Jerusalem.

Following the recent conflict in Gaza, many Israelis say security is what counts, and that they do not trust the peace process or the Palestinians.

In such a climate, Mr Lieberman – with his strong, often anti-Arab, rhetoric – is forecast to make gains, our correspondent adds.

Once the final votes are counted, the complicated process of building a coalition will begin – something that could take several weeks.




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