Likud Wins, Lapid is Ready to Hand Over PM’s Chair to Netanyahu

Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and faction leader Yariv Levin (right) chair their party faction meeting in the Knesset, May 23, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Jerusalem, MINA – As the final vote was counted on Thursday, Prime Minister Yair Lapid was reportedly ready to hand over his post to Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, whose right-wing religious bloc won a resounding victory.

The Prime Minister will summon his political rivals at the end of the vote count, the Walla news website reported.

He added that Yesh Atid’s Lapid party had told ministers to prepare for an orderly and responsible transfer of power.

Lapid’s defeat is almost certain as the vote count puts the left-wing Meretz party, which will be part of his bloc, below the 3.25 percent threshold required to enter the Knesset, the Times of Israel reported.

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As of 3 p.m. Thursday Palestinian time, the Central Electoral Committee had counted about 4.5 million ballots 95 percent of all votes.

Netanyahu’s bloc is projected to hold a comfortable majority in the 120-seat Knesset, after 17 months in opposition to far-right allies and the Haredi.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s bloc has 65 seats in the 120-seat parliament.

The results point to a stunning return to Netanyahu, who is currently on trial in three corruption cases, and is likely to end a four-year political stalemate that has dragged the country through a series of draining elections.

The Likud leader is reportedly eager to form a coalition of right-wing religious parties, with his key ally, MK Yariv Levin, reported to have started discussions with parties within the bloc. (T/RE1)

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Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)