The results of the final vote show a major setback for Israel’s Netanyahu

“It is clear that Netanyahu does not have the majority to form a government under his leadership,” said Gideon Sara, Netanyahu’s former ally. “Steps must now be taken to understand the possibility of forming a government for change.”

In order to form a government, a candidate must work with allies to get a majority of 1 seat in the Knesset or Parliament.

According to the final results released by the Israeli Electoral Commission, Netanyahu and his allies won 6 seats, while his opponents held 57 seats.

In the middle were two undisputed parties: Yamina, a seven-seat nationalist party led by Netanyahu’s former lieutenant, and Ram, an Arab Islamist party that won four seats.

Neither Naphtali Bennett of Yamina nor Mansoor Abbas of Ram have expressed commitment to either camp. Deep divisions in both pro-Netanyahu and Netanyahu groups could make it difficult for both sides to get a majority with them.

“Israel is experiencing its worst political crisis in decades. It is clear that our political system finds it very difficult to bring about a decisive outcome, “said Johann Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Organization.

Tuesday’s vote was seen as a referendum on the health of the regime, despite Netanyahu’s leadership style and accusations. “Israelis are divided in the middle on this question,” Plasner said.

Netanyahu’s supporters see him as a uniquely qualified political official to lead the country. He campaigned on his management of the country’s successful coronavirus vaccination program and signed diplomatic agreements with four Arab countries last year.

Still, his opponents say Netanyahu is untrustworthy and has confused many aspects of the coronavirus crisis. He also says he should not be running the country at a time when he is on trial for multiple corruption charges. A series of evidence assistants is set to stand in front of it, with the evidence phase set to begin on April 5.

Thursday’s results set the stage for a week of uncertainty as the country’s statistics president, Reuven Rivlin, consulted with party leaders to see if he could agree with a candidate who could work with a majority of the new regime.

Merv Michael, whose center-left Labor Party won seven seats, declared victory for the anti-Netanyahu camp. “Now is the time to form a government,” he told Channel 13 TV.

It won’t be that easy. In the anti-Netanyahu camp, a wide range of people, from left-wing Arab parties to radical nationalists, have opposed collaborating with him.

One option on Thursday was that his slim parliamentary majority is likely to be used to pass legislation that would disqualify a convicted politician from forming a new government aimed at preventing Netanyahu from taking office. Some parties said they are leaning in that direction.

Netanyahu is on trial for three counts of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes. He has denied any wrongdoing and dismissed allegations of partisan law enforcement and witch-hunting by the media. His opponents accused him of leading the country to repeated elections in the hope of winning parliament that would free him from action.

Danny Dayan, a member of Sar’s new Hope Party, said he was not thrilled to adopt the “personalized” law, but said it was worth considering.

“Netanyahu has made this kind of confusion between his lawsuit and the needs of the state. So, there is room for discussion on this matter, ”he said.

Netanyahu’s Likud party compares his opponents to the clerical leadership in Iran, which equips candidates for office. “Change bloc is a great way to say ‘anti-democratic group,'” Likude said.

Despite the allegations against him, Netanyahu’s Likud party received nearly a quarter of the vote, making it the largest party in parliament. A total of 1 party received enough votes to enter the Knesset – the highest number of votes since the 2003 election – Parliament was divided into groups of midsize parties representing ultra-Jewish, Arab, secular, nationalist and liberal groups.

To get Netanyahu a majority, he will need to bring in Bennett, who leads a party popular among hardline-Jewish nationalists, and Abbas, whose party is inspired by the region-wide Muslim Brotherhood movement. Bennett has denied any involvement with Abbas.

In another twist, Netanyahu, the prime minister’s ally and head of the far-right Zionist religious party, said Thursday that “a right-wing government will not be formed with the support of Abbas.” Duration. Not on my watch. ”

Netanyahu on the other side of the wing will also try to make individual bills “defective” and join them.

That, at the present time, seems like a longshot given the animosity towards the Prime Minister.

Bennett, Sar and Avigdor Lieberman, leaders of the secular nationalist Israel Betanu party, are all former Netanyahu believers who had a tumultuous breakup with the prime minister.

Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantez signed a power-sharing deal with Netanyahu last year, only to see it split quickly between non-stop fights.

Opponents of Netanyahu will also explore various possible combinations that could secure the required 61-seat majority. This could include enticing Netanyahu’s ultra-rhetorical allies and disgruntled members of Likud.

The mind-boggling array of possibilities means that the weeks of unreliability are likely to be the fifth consecutive election opportunity if an alternative coalition is not found.

Late Thursday, Yair Lapid, whose centrist Yes Etiquette Party came in second with 17 seats, announced that they had met with Michael and “discussed options for cooperation to build an alliance for change.”

He says they have agreed to “meet again and continue the discussion.”