Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

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

Rival Israeli parties claim victory

Posted by alicemarziali su 11 febbraio, 2009

But it was the far right Yisrael Beiteinu party, led by Avigdor Lieberman, who campaigned on a platform to deny citizenship to Israeli Arabs he considers disloyal, that emerged as kingmaker with its strong showing.

It won 15 seats in the 120-member Knesset, pushing the Labor party back into fourth place with just 13 seats, its worst ever election performance.

Livni declared victory in the early hours of Wednesday, saying: “Today the people chose Kadima… We will form the next government led by Kadima.”

Coalition appeal

She appealed to rival Netanyahu to join a national unity government led by her.

But Netanyahu said he should become Israel’s next prime minister because right-wing parties had won enough votes for a governing majority.


“With God’s help I will lead the next government,” Netanyahu told his party members shortly before Livni spoke to hers.

“I will turn to our natural partners in the nationalist camp [to form a coalition government].”

Overall, hawkish parties appeared to have won a majority of seats up for grabs, giving Netanyahu the upper hand in forming the next government.

Wednesday’s tally did not include thousands of votes cast by soldiers. They could shift the results slightly when they are counted by Thursday evening.

Yuval Steinitz, a Likud Knesset member, told Al Jazeera that Netanyahu would be asked to form a coalition because “Kadima and Livni can’t form a government. Two or three months ago she had more seats together with the Labor party and she failed”.

Under the electoral system, the president will ask the person deemed most likely to get a working coalition to form a government, rather than the candidate with the most seats.

The chosen party will be given 28 days – a period which Shimon Peres, the president, may extend by up to 14 days – to form a coalition holding at least 61 of the 120 seats in the Knesset or parliament.

Right-wing bloc

Lieberman said his party’s strong showing meant that he now held the key to forming the new Israeli government.

Party 2009 2006
Kadima 28 29
Likud 27 12
15 11
Labour 13 19
Shas 11 12
United Arab List
11 10
National Union/
Jewish Home
7 6
New Movement/
3 5

He said he had spoken to both Livni and Netanyahu and told them he could be persuaded to join either one of them.

Menachem Hofnung, a professor of political science at Hebrew University, said “it is up to Lieberman who will form the next coalition”.

“Lieberman has emerged as the kingmaker. He is the winner of this election, and it depends on who he sides with over the next few weeks as to who will be prime minister.”

Israel’s press declared that Netanyahu was the more likely candidate to be able to rally the other parties behind him.

“He lost but he will conquer,” the Maariv newspaper said.

The Haaretz daily said: “Despite the poll results, it is not certain that Livni will be  able to muster the 61-seat coalition needed to form a government.”

Shlomo Ben-Ami, a former Israeli foreign minister, told Al Jazeera that neither Livni nor Netanyahu could claim a “majority which could rally the Knesset”, and criticised the election system as “an obstacle to solving the problems for the nation and the conflict with Palestinians and the Arab world”.


al jazeera international

The leaders of the centrist Kadima party and the right-wing Likud party have both declared victory in Israel’s general election.

With all the votes counted on Wednesday, the Kadima party led by Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister, had won 28 parliamentary seats, one more than the Likud party of Benyamin Netanyahu, a former prime minister.



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