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Incorrect claim of victory

Reader comment on item: Who Won in Israel's Elections?

Submitted by David Sternlight (United States), Feb 11, 2009 at 21:05

Tzipi Livni cannot credibly claim victory. The soldiers' and diplomats votes are yet to be counted; they amount to 5 mandates and have traditionally gone heavily to the Right. Since Livni is currently ahead by one seat, it is highly likely that when the final results are announced on February 18, Netanyahu's party will have two or 3 seats more than Livni's.

Meanwhile, Livni is busily maneuvering (as would be expected in a Parliamentary system) to get her previously ideological enemy, Lieberman, into a coalition. But that is unlikely unless Netanyahu blunders or Lieberman is totally unreasonable. Shas, meanwhile, has already announced its association with a Netanyahu government; even if Livni gets Labor and Meretz she will not have the needed 60 seats to govern. Of course Israeli politics is such that it's not over until the fat lady sings (no reference to Livni intended). Serious academics who have studied the Middle East closely should know this.

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