TEL AVIV – Israeli prime minister and candidate for re-election, Benjamin Netanyahu, addressed his voters after the general elections’ first results on Tuesday evening and was confident he could form a government.
After 2:00 in the morning on Wednesday (2300 GMT Tuesday), the current Israeli Chief Executive spoke at the electoral headquarters of his party, Likud, in the city of Tel Aviv, and addressed the nearly 300 sympathizers who came to show their support as the night went on.
“It is a night of colossal victory,” he began, thanking again and again the attendees, the members of his party and his wife, Sarah, who he kissed before and after the speech and who never left is side.
“I am very moved this night... I am very moved that the people of Israel again put its faith in me, for the fifth time and even greater faith,” Netanyahu said, with a tone that indicated gratitude for the good figures which he seems to get, according to the latest results of the vote count.
His audience, mostly men and many of them religious, celebrated each of his words, chanted the name of his wife and even waved a flag in support of US President Donald Trump, whom Netanyahu openly admires and who also could be seen in some images projected during the event.
“It is difficult to understand the magnitude of this victory, considering that we are facing the negative bias of the media,” he exclaimed, raising the tone and giving rise to a widespread booing of his audience, among whom there were those who insulted, on at least two occasions, some of the journalists present at the event.
The high point of the speech was, however, when he exclaimed with certainty that the right-wing bloc, led by Likud, will lead the government for the next four years.
“Tonight I already started talking with the leaders of the right-wing parties, our allies, and almost everyone has already publicly expressed that they will recommend me to form a government,” he said, announcing that he plans to form the coalition as soon as possible to build a “strong and right-wing” government.
Around 3:00 local time (0000 GMT Wednesday), and with about 60 percent of the votes counted, the Likud had 27.6 percent of the votes, while Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party, platform of its main rival in these elections, followed him with 26 percent.
The parliamentary system of government in Israel requires the formation of a coalition of at least 60 seats (50 percent of parliament) for the formation of a coalition, something that at the moment would seem easier for Netanyahu to achieve.
Bibi (the nickname of Netanyahu), who could achieve his fifth term as Israeli prime minister, has more options to form alliances with right-wing parties and the Ultra-Orthodox, whose results taken together, surpass those of the center-left bloc that would support a government of his rival Gantz.