Israelis vote Tuesday as Netanyahu seeks re-election
Israelis are voting Tuesday, for the fourth time in two years, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks re-election after a record-breaking 12 consecutive years in office.
Netanyahu has refused to resign after being indicted for alleged bribery and fraud, which has divided the country into two polarizing sides. This has led Israel to hold elections more frequently than any other major democracy.
Netanyahu has denied the allegations. His trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust has already begun and is expected to resume in April.
It is predicted to be a tight race between Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is a member of the Likud party, and his opponents, according to the latest opinion polls.
Netanyahu’s rivals include Yair Lapid, a member of the Yesh Atid party, who has emerged as as the moderate candidate to Netanyahu.
“Vote, vote, vote, vote, vote,” Netanyahu said after casting his ballot in Jerusalem, Calling the occasion a “festival of democracy.”
Lapid said, “this the moment of truth for the state of Israel,” as he casted his vote in Tel Aviv.
Netanyahu hopes his coronavirus vaccine rollout will win him another term in office with Israel vaccinating its population faster than any other country.
Netanyahu is urging his supporters to vote, tweeting that there has been a low voter turnout.
“Low turnout in the South. Likudniks must go to the polls now. Take family and friends. Two more seats and we win and form a strong right-wing government,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter Tuesday.
An official vote tally may be calculated by Wednesday.
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