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The Israeli election 2009
Results and analysis of the February 10 election
Article added on February 11, 2009
  
With 99% of the ballots in the Israeli election 2009 of February 10 counted, the Kadima Party of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni emerged as the surprise winner in relative terms. There is no clear leader as expected and therefore, the creation of a coalition government will be difficult and full of horse-trading. The absentee votes of some 150.000 soldiers still have to be counted.

In total, 12 parties will be represented in the next Knesset, the Israeli parliament with a total of 120 seats. The voter turnout among the 5.2 million Israeli voters was 65.2%. Among the 1.4 million Arab citizens of the State of Israel, voter participation was lower but according to estimates above the 50% mark.

Tzipi Livni's Kadima won 23% of the vote and 28 seats in the Knesset. Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party stands at 21% and 27 seats, Yisrael Beitenu of the right wing politician Avigdor Lieberman at 12% and 15 seats, the Labor Party at 10% and 13 seats, Shas at 9% and 11 seats, the United Toah Judaism Party at 4% and 5 seats, the National Union Party at 3% and 4 seats, Hadash at 3% and 4 seats, the United Aab List Ta'al at 4% and 4 seats, Balad at 3% and 3 seats, Meretz at 3% and 3 seats, the Jewish Home Party at 3% and 3 seats.



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The 2009 Israeli legislative election has no clear winner and it remains unclear whether Tzipi Livni will be able to form a coalition government. Without Netanyahu's Likud, she will probably get no majority. If she includes smaller parties, horse-trading will be extreme and a peace treaty with the Palestinians impossible since she would have to include at least one right-wing party which is not ready to give up the Jewish settlements on Palestinian territory.

Avigdor Lieberman attacked Israeli Arabs for being “disloyal” to the Israeli State. A coalition with him, Livni and the Arab parties is therefore unlikely. Lieberman may think that he is the kingmaker, but he cannot be sure to be the decider.

A right-wing coalition under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu would have a majority in the Knesset but would be even more unwilling to give up the contested settlements and take steps towards a final peace deal with the Palestinians. Netanyahu, Lieberman and other nationalist parties are likely coalition partners. In such a case, the outlook for the Middle East looks pretty grim.

A national unity coalition including Labor, Netanyahu's Likud and Livni's Kadima is not impossible. Is the Likud leader, the frontrunner during most of the electoral campaign, ready to give up the chance to become prime minister again? Will he insist on a rotation in the premiership? Is he ready to compromise with the Palestinian leaders? As minister of foreign affairs, he could broker a peace deal with the Palestinians, emerge as a true leader and win a Nobel Peace Prize. The Obama administration may help him and the Palestinians find the right way.  Israel's war against Hamas was a mistake, but it seems to have helped boost Livni's electoral chances, but not Barak's.



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Deutsch Politik Geschichte Kunst Film Musik Lebensart Reisen
English Politics History Art Film Music Lifestyle Travel
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© Copyright www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.