United Torah Judaism, the Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox party loses one seat to Likud, but right-wing bloc remains unchanged at 55, while the Blue & White remains at 32 with its left-wing bloc unchanged at 44 mandates.
The Central Election Committee announced 1 a.m. Wednesday that Likud won an extra seat compared to what they previously stated, bringing the total seats obtained by Benjamin Netanyahu’s party to 32, just one less than Benny Gantz’s Blue and White.
Moreover, the Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox party United Torah Judaism moved from eight seats to seven seats.
The CEC released the “almost final” results on Friday. However, it emphasized that the results could not be considered final nor official, because in the following days they would re-examine the results from about 2,000 ballots across Israel. The ballots were selected randomly and partly based on episodes that occurred on election day.
The rest of the results did not change: Blue and White won 33 seats, the Joint List 13, Shas 9, Yisrael Beytenu 8, Yemina 7, Labor-Gesher 6 and the Democratic Union 5.
The numbers within the blocs also remained stable with 55 seats for the Center-Right bloc and 54 seats for the Center-Left bloc – Yisrael Beytenu and the members of the Joint List representing the Balad party chose not to recommend anybody.
On Monday, President Reuven Rivlin invited Netanyahu and Gantz to meet with him to facilitate the talks to form a unity government.
Representatives of Likud and Blue and White held their first coalition talks on Tuesday at Ramat Gan’s Kfar Maccabiah Hotel. A joint statement issued by the two parties said the meeting was professional and had a good atmosphere, but that the two sides disagreed about whether Likud was representing only itself in the meeting, or its bloc of 55 MKs on the Right.
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