“While weeks of negotiations to form a coalition government lay ahead, conditions set by the parties could hobble the task within the allotted time, prompting a never-before held third election. With nearly all votes counted Thursday, the centrist Blue and White party stood at 33 seats in Israel’s 120-seat parliament. Netanyahu’s conservative Likud stood at 31 seats,” the AP reports.
“Neither party can form a government without the support of the election’s apparent kingmaker, Avigdor Lieberman of the Yisrael Beitenu party. His insistence on a secular government would force out Netanyahu’s traditional allies, the country’s two ultra-Orthodox parties and another nationalist-religious party.”