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Voice of America – English: No Clear Coalition Majority as Israel Counts Ballots

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With about 90% of votes counted Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party was in line to hold the most seats in parliament but lacked a clear path to forming a governing coalition.
An anti-Netanyahu bloc led by the closest rival party, Yesh Atid, also stood short of what would be needed to form Israel’s next government.
The lack of a clear winner in Tuesday’s voting, the fourth parliamentary election in Israel in the span of two years, raised the prospect of yet a fifth vote to come.
Election officials expected to finish counting ballots from regular polling stations sometime Wednesday.  Another 450,000 ballots needed to be counted from those who voted outside their polling area.
After three previous inconclusive elections, Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz agreed to a power-sharing deal to form a government in May 2020.  But that arrangement fell apart late last year with the lack of agreement on a budget, triggering the new round of elections.


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