In all, 6,578,084 Israelis over the age of 18 were called to vote at 13,685 polling stations. Today is a national holiday, and public transportation is free to facilitate the movement of people to vote. EFE / EPA / OPEN SULTAN
Polling stations opened at 05.00 GMT in Israel, which is holding its fourth elections in two years, the most expensive in its history, and which were characterized by measures to combat the Corona virus. And special centers to ensure that the injured and isolated people vote.
In all, 6,578,084 Israelis over the age of 18 were called to vote at 13,685 polling stations. Today is a national holiday, and public transportation is free to facilitate the movement of people to vote.
Voting will end at 22:00 PM (20:00 GMT), when the recount begins, which may be delayed for several days due to an increase in the so-called “double” votes.This time, it comes not only from embassies, military bases, prisons or hospitals, but also from those in quarantine or infected with COVID-19.
A hospital employee carries a ballot box to the rooms of Covid-19 patients who want to vote in Israel (Reuters / Nir Elias)
The front runner in the polls remains Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party. With around 30 seats likely, he does not seem to have influenced the corruption trial he faces. Israelis will vote after weeks of progressive economic reopening, with more than half of the population vaccinated, bringing a sense of normality back to the streets.
Agreements to normalize Israeli relations with four Arab countries – the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan (this is in the absence of a final agreement) – is one of the other electoral achievements through which Netanyahu aspires to extend the renewed mandate. Consecutively since 2009.
She reassures her traditional ultra-Orthodox partners – Shah and United Torah Judaism – and the far-right religious Zionist party, with strong racist rhetoric, led by Bezalel Smotrich.
The main contender for the dispute over the prime minister to Netanyahu is the center, Yair Lapid, from Yesh Atid, But with an estimate of between 16 and 19 seats, he will need to add the rest of the lists that were presented to topple Netanyahu, such as Gideon Saar, who left Likud to create Nueva Speranza, which expects 9 seats. .
The fourth candidate in the religious national vote intention is Naftali Bennett, Yamina (about 9 seats), who said on Sunday that he will not support a government with Lapid, nor does a government with Netanyahu require the support of the Arab lists.
In short, various factors will affect the fourth elections that Israel conducts today in less than two years.
“One thing is clear: it shouldn’t surprise us too much in the end,” said analyst Matti Tuchfield in the official Israel Hayom newspaper.
An official sorts ballot cards at a special mobile polling station for Israelis who are isolated or infected with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), immediately before the station opens for Israelis to vote in the Israeli general elections, in Jerusalem. Reuters / Ronen Zevulun
Each voting table is equipped with protective plastic materials and hygiene products to prevent the spread of the virus. More than 4.5 million Israelis are vaccinated with the two doses, making today’s vote easier for many.
There are 342 centers with isolated tents for quarantined citizens who can go by car And deposit your ballot without getting out of the car.
Those injured can vote at 409 points with highly protected tents. The Central Elections Commission will transport them by appropriate means of transportation. However, out of about 15,000 patients eligible to vote, only about 1,000 were registered to vote.
In addition, 38 polling stations have been enabled in hospitals, where there are about 500 seriously injured. Likewise, buses serving as mobile surveys have been adapted for use in the event that the school must be closed due to the presence of virus vectors.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara voted early in the morning in Israel (Reuters / Ronen Zevulun / Paul)
The total cost is estimated at 170 million euros, double the cost of the previous March 2020 elections.
Despite expected voter exhaustion due to frequent elections, The participation rate in March was 71%, higher than 69.4% in September 2019, and 67.9% in April of the same year..
In this election, 37 lists agree to obtain representation in the 120-seat parliament. The issue that characterized the campaign was not the focus of the right and left, but the positions supporting or opposing Netanyahu.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister for 12 years now prosecuted for corruption, will try to reassert the position, but the polls do not guarantee a sufficient majority of 61 seats with his allies to form a government.
With information from EFE and Aurora
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