JERUSALEM | Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday night congratulated his rival Benjamin Netanyahu on his “victory” in Tuesday’s general election, his spokesman said in a statement.
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“Prime Minister Lapid congratulated Mr. Netanyahu on his victory in the elections and informed the opposition leader that he had given instructions to prepare for an orderly transition,” underlines the press release.
“The State of Israel is above any political consideration. I wish Netanyahu success in the interests of the people of Israel and the State of Israel,” Lapid added.
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Israelis voted Tuesday for their fifth general election in three and a half years in a politically divided country struggling to form or maintain coalitions.
As of Thursday, after 99% of the vote was counted, Mr Netanyahu’s “right bloc” is credited with 64 elections – 31 for his right-wing party (Likud), 19 for the ultra-Orthodox parties and a record 14 for the far-right parties. Right – what analysts say could be the most right-wing government in the country’s history.
Outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid (“There is a future”) party, is heading for a harvest of 24 elections for his party and 51 for his bloc with its allies.
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Last year he rallied a motley coalition (right, left, center and an Arab party) to end the rule of Benjamin Netanyahu, the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history, who ruled from 1996 to 1999 and from 2009 to 2021 power was.
Once the final results are known, Israeli President Isaac Herzog, whose role is essentially symbolic, will appoint an elected representative to form a government. He then has 42 days to do so.