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Israeli parties scramble for coalition partners after election leaves Netanyahu’s fate unclear

The results of Israel's too-close-to-call election won't be final for days. But it has already sparked a tumultuous scramble among political parties — desperate to manufacture a governing majority and avoid yet another election — for potential coalition partners, defectors and spoilers.

With both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the parties determined to unseat him falling short of the 61 parliamentary seats needed for a majority coalition, according to preliminary results Wednesday, all sides were looking to the few swing factions.

“It is our duty to do everything we can to prevent a fifth election,” coalition chairman Miki Zohar told the media site Ynet. Some members of Netanyahu’s bloc have previously pledged never to serve in government with an Arab party.

The preliminary results gave avowed anti-Netanyahu parties 57 seats, plus 11 controlled by two Arab factions. But in previous election, these groups had been unable to negotiate a power-sharing agreement that would topple the prime minister.

“This is an extremely close election,” said Yohanan Plesner, the president of the Israel Democracy Institute. “Nothing is decided.”

From an article in The Washington Post Read the rest of the article here

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