Israel election: PM Netanyahu gets clear mandate

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Tel Aviv, March 18: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a clear mandate in Tuesday's elections and looked to form a new government and serve the fourth consecutive term. It was a great relief for the 65-year-old Netanyahu who had offended many voters and alienated allies during the election.

Reports said Netanyahu's Likud Party captured 29 or 30 of the 120 seats in the Parliament, leaving behind the centre-left Zionist Union alliance which got 24 seats.

benjamin-netanyahu

Almost 100 per cent of the ballots were counted, the Ynet news site said.

The results showed a stunning turnaround from the last pre-election polls that showed the Zionist Union led by Isaac Herzog was getting a momentum. It was then when Netanyahu started a rigorous last-minute campaign promising that no Palestinian state would be set up as long as he was there in the office.

Netanyahu served as the prime minister of Israel for three years in the mid-1990s and returned to office in 2009. He said it was a huge victory and that he had spoken to all the parties to help him form a government "without any further ado".

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