09:02 GMT +321 October 2019
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    Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz and party co-leaders Yair Lapid, Moshe Yaalon and Gaby Ashkenazi react at the party's headquarters following the announcement of exit polls during Israel's parliamentary election in Tel Aviv, Israel September 18, 2019

    Israeli Blue and White Bloc Overtakes Likud by 1 Seat With 93% of Votes Counted

    © REUTERS / AMIR COHEN
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    JERUSALEM (Sputnik) – The Israeli opposition centrist Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) alliance is overtaking incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party by one seat with 93 percent of the votes counted, the Israeli Central Elections Committee (ICEC) said Wednesday.

    "With 93 percent of the votes counted, 'Blue and White' took a lead over Likud with 32 seats against 31," the committee announced its official preliminary results.

    The ICEC added that an alliance of four Arab parties, the so-called Joint List, has received 13 seats in the Knesset election, followed by the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and Yisrael Beiteinu, both receiving nine seats in the parliament.

    On Tuesday, Israel held a snap general election to its 120-seat unicameral parliament, the Knesset. According to the country's Central Elections Committee, the turnout in the snap general election had reached 53.5 percent by 6 pm (20:00 GMT).

    During the previous Israeli elections held in April, main political rivals - Likud and Blue and White won 35 seats each, while Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government prompting the first in the country snap elections.

    The Israeli parliament, Knesset, comprises 120 seats. The electoral process is made up of two components: first, people vote for the party of their choice via secret ballot in a single nationwide electoral district, after that each party receives a number of seats proportional to the votes it gained. The minimum vote threshold to win a seat is 3.25 percent, and 61 seats are required to form a majority government.

    Tags:
    Likud, Blue and White Party, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel
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