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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Israel polls close, winner undecided

Duration: 01:41s 0 shares 2 views
Israel polls close, winner undecided
Israel polls close, winner undecided

The polls have closed in Israel in what is the fourth election in just two years.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hopes a world-beating vaccine rollout will help him politically, despite bribery and abuse of power charges that have earned him the title of ‘Crime Minister’ by those who want a change.

Gavino Garay reports.

The polls closed in Israel on Tuesday night, in what is the fourth election in two years -- but early TV exit polls showed it's too close to call.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping a highly-praised COVID-19 vaccine rollout will win him another term - despite criminal charges of bribery and abuse of power, which he denies.

Netanyahu made a last-minute effort by going 'shopping' for votes - with a megaphone in hand at a shopping center.

Israelis in Tel Aviv had mixed views on whether the world's fastest vaccine rollout would help Netanyahu politically.

28-YEAR-OLD ISRAELI, BARAK ZOREF: "I think that it helps him." TEL AVIV RESIDENT, YUVAL SHCHORI: "Personally, it didn't affect me because we, Israel needs a change.

Opinion polls indicated an uptick for Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party in the campaign's final days, giving him a prospective coalition of conservative and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties with around 60 seats in the 120-member parliament.

Yair Lapid, a former finance minister who heads the centrist Yesh Atid party, has emerged as Netanyahu's main challenger.

The dominant political figure of his generation, Netanyahu, has been in power since 2009.

But the Israeli electorate is deeply polarized, with supporters hailing him as "King Bibi" and opponents calling him the "Crime Minister." An official tally may not emerge until Wednesday.


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