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Israel: Vote gives right wing slight edge

Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:13 AM
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JERUSALEM, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The Central Elections Committee announced the final results two days after Israel's national elections, giving the Right bloc a majority in the next Knesset.

In the final tally after ballots from soldiers, prisoners and people in hospitals were counted, newcomer Naftali Bennet's the Jewish Home party received an extra Knesset seat climbing from 11 to 12, and the Raam-Taal Arab party dropped from five to four seats, the committee said.

The final results left the right-wing bloc with a total of 61 seats in the next Knesset and the Center-Left bloc with a total of 59.

Meanwhile, former journalist and political newcomer Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid that became the second largest party after Likud-Beitenu, said basic conditions for joining Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's coalition included the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians, Ynetnews.com said.

Netanyahu has already begun the process of building his coalition with former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Lapid, The Jerusalem Post said.

In an interview on CNN Wednesday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak described the elections as a national victory for the social justice movement.

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