Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned on Wednesday that he should be commissioned to form a new government or go for a fifth election, Israeli media reported.
Unofficial election results conducted by Israeli mass media and exit polls show that Netanyahu’s Likud party has 30 seats, making it the largest bloc.
However, Haaretz reported that with 90 per cent of the votes counted, Netanyahu still does not have a clear path to a 61-seat majority needed to form a coalition.
In a series of tweets, Netanyahu posted that he would not save efforts to talk with all the Knesset members to form a “stable” government. “This what Israeli citizens expect from us,” he wrote, “preventing a fifth election and forming a good, stable government for Israel.”
He added: “With this majority, we have to build a stable Israeli government. I stretch out my hand to all MKs who believe in this path; I don’t rule anybody out. I expect all who believe in our principles to act in a similar fashion.”
Netanyahu urged the right-wing parties to: “Join us in this government,” pledging to build: “A right-wing government that will look after all Israeli citizens.”
Speaking to reporters, he conveyed: “You touched our hearts. This is a festival of democracy. This is a happy country. Israel is a country where people are smiling.”
Pointing to Yish Atid, the left-wing party led by Yair Lapid, which, according to exit polls has so far got 17 seats, Netanyahu affirmed: “Citizens of Israel – thank you. You have bestowed a huge victory on the right-wing and the Likud party under my leadership. The Likud party is larger than the next party by a massive margin.”
With up to 90 per cent of the votes counted, Netanyahu’s bloc is near 61 seats, including Yamina’s Naftali Bennett, who said he would work with anyone beneficial to Israel.
Final poll results are expected to be announced on Friday.