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Israelis vote in repeat election can shake Netanyahu’s 10-year domination of politics - Daily News Egypt

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Israelis vote in repeat election can shake Netanyahu’s 10-year domination of politics

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu facing battle for political survival in closely fought election

Israelis started voting Tuesday in an unprecedented repeat election that will decide whether long-time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stays in power despite the corruption charges against him.

Netanyahu, the longest serving leader in Israeli history, is seeking a fourth consecutive term in office, and fifth overall. But he faces a stiff challenge from retired military chief Benny Gantz, whose centrist Blue and White party is running even with Netanyahu’s Likud.

Both parties could struggle to form a majority coalition with smaller allies, forcing them into a potential unity government.

Netanyahu has tried to portray himself as a statesman who is uniquely qualified to lead the country through challenging times. Gantz has tried to paint Netanyahu as divisive, offering himself as a calming influence and an honest alternative.

Tuesday’s vote marks their second showdown of the year after drawing even in the previous election in April.

But Avigdor Lieberman, his mercurial ally-turned-rival, refused to join the new coalition, citing the excessive influence it granted the ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties. Without a parliamentary majority, Netanyahu dissolved parliament and called a new election.

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