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Netanyahu’s Likud Party wins Israeli elections - March 18, 2015

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party scored a surprise victory in the country’s election after a tight race had raised doubts about his continuing hold on power. Netanyahu became prime minister for a fourth time and is on course to become his country’s longest serving leader. While Likud won 30 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, the Centre-Left Zionist Union got 24 seats. While Netanyahu devoted his campaign to security matters and the Iranian nuclear programme, his opponents focussed on economic issues. The final election turnout was 72.3%, 4.6% higher than in the previous poll. In a message on Twitter, Netanyahu wrote: “Against all odds: a great victory for Likud, a great victory for the national camp led by Likud, a great victory for the people of Israel.” However, forming the next government proved to be a big challenge, and Netanyahu managed to finalise a coalition just before the May 6 midnight deadline. The Likud party eventually joined hands with the Jewish Home, United Torah Judaism, Kulanu and Shas, and formed a coalition government with 61 seats. Source: Israeli, Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud, Knesset, Zionist Union, Jewish Home, United Torah Judaism, Kulanu, Shas