Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday called opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and congratulated him on his election victory, as his coalition of right-wing parties secured a comfortable majority in the parliament. With 99 per cent of the ballots counted, Netanyahu-led right-wing bloc has taken a comfortable lead with 64 seats in the 120-member Knesset, paving way for his triumphant return. Lapid told Netanyahu he's instructed all departments of the Prime Minister's Office to prepare for an orderly transfer of power.
"The State of Israel is above any political consideration," Lapid said in a tweet. "I wish Netanyahu luck for the sake of the people of Israel and the State of Israel."
Israelis voted on Tuesday for an unprecedented fifth time in four years to break the political impasse that has paralysed the Jewish nation. According to the latest updates from the Central Elections Committee, Netanyahu's Likud party will receive 31 seats, Prime Minister Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid 24, Religious Zionism 14, National Unity 12, Shas 11 and United Torah Judaism will have eight seats.
For many years, Netanyahu appeared to be politically invincible. But he met with a rude jolt after being ousted in 2021 by an unprecedented coalition of parties whose only common goal was to see his ouster. Born in Tel Aviv in 1949, Netanyahu holds the record of being the longest-serving Prime Minister in the country's history. Having served in the position earlier between 1996 and 1999, Netanyahu in 2020 surpassed the record held by one of the Jewish state's founding leaders, David Ben-Gurion.
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