Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earned more votes than challenger Benny Gantz in Israel’s prime ministerial election.
“It's a win against all odds because we stood up against powerful forces. They already eulogized us. Our enemies said, ‘The Netanyahu era is over.’ But we turned the plate on its head,” Netanyahu said before a crowd of supporters, adding that it is “the biggest win of my life.”
Netanyahu now needs 61 seats in Israel’s Knesset to form a majority government. Netanyahu is on track to earn at least 59, according to CBN News. Gantz may only earn 32 seats.
Political experts predicted that Netanyahu and Gantz would be neck in neck in the race, many even believed Israel would have to undergo a fourth election for the Prime Minister position.
According to CBN News, despite initially appearing to have received fewer votes, Gantz wait until every vote is counted before conceding.
“We created something called Blue and White. We merged our documents and principles to one place and I am telling you that we won't compromise on our principles and our way,” Gantz said Monday night.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, Monday’s election was an unprecedented third election for prime minister in a year. In the past two elections, the winner has been unable to form a majority government.
CBN News reports that Israel was forced into a third election after the winning candidate was unable to form a unity government in Israel’s 120-seat Knesset.
In Israel, President Reuven Rivlin chooses a leader to form a government. That leader has six weeks to form a unity government, but if he fails, another candidate has 28 days to try to form one. Following that, anyone in the Knesset can try to form a government in a two-week window. If all these fail, Israel heads to another election.
Previously, both current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and challenger Benny Gantz have been unable to form a government by the deadlines.
Final election results will be available Thursday.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Amir Levy/Stringer
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.