Wed. Jan 23, 2013 Israel News

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  • A day after elections : Netanyahu and the left woo Yair Lapid
  • With most votes counted Left and Right blocs tie with 60 seats each
  • And the foreign press around the world wonder: Who is Yair Lapid ?

With the polls closed and the majority of votes tallied, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud Beytenu list appears to have done even worse in Tuesday’s election than public opinion polls predicted last week, winning 31 seats – 11 fewer than the 42 the two parties held in the last parliament.

In a clear shift away from the Right, the Center-Left bloc, which won only 55 seats in the 2009 election, had risen to 60 seats to bring it at an even split with the Right.
The 19th Knesset show 31 seats for Likud – Beytenu, Yesh Atid as the second biggest party with 19, Labor in third at 15, with Shas and Bayit Yehudi at 11 seats each, the Central Elections Committee announced.
United Torah Judaism received 7 seats, and the Tzipi Livni Party and Meretz received six seats each.
For the Arab parties, UAL – Taal received 5, Hadash 4, and Balad 3.
Kadima just passed the threshold with two seats.
Despite suffering a significant setback at the polls, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday afternoon the elections show the country wants him to continue to lead the nation.
Netanyahu told reporters that the coalition he will put together will deal with greater equality in carrying the military burden, institute cheaper housing and government reform.
Netanyahu said that he agreed with his No. 2, Avigdor Liberman, that the coalition negotiations would deal with those issues, alongside the diplomatic/security issues.
He repeated his desire to set up the widest coalition as possible.
Having secured enough votes in Tuesday’s elections to head the next government, Netanyahu at once embarked on late night outreach to the leaders of the parties he is eyeing as future coalition partners. In a post-midnight flurry, he called Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid, Aryeh Deri and Eli Yishai of Shas, and Yaakov Litzman of United Torah Judaism. A source close to Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett confirmed that Netanyahu had not placed a call to Bennett as of Wednesday evening.

Labor chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich called on Lapid not to join a Netanyahu government and to instead join her in trying to form an alternative coalition focusing on socioeconomic issues but yair lapid said in response that he would not try to block netnyahu with the left centrist parties.

And of course as the surprise of the 2013 elections media around the world were all asking – who is yair lapid ?

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