Israel's parliamentary election took place today. Back in early December, we mentioned it as one of the most important elections for 2009
. After the recent violence in Gaza that certainly seems as true as ever.They work with a parliamentary system in Israel. There are 120 seats in their legislature (the Knesset) and a dizzying array of different parties. Only about 12 parties are players though, and only five are major players (controlling more than 10 seats). After the election, parties negotiate to form coalitions, and whichever bloc assembles 61 seats or more among its various parties gets the Prime Minister and can pass legislation by a simple majority.So this time around the centrist Kadima party narrowly beat the right-leaning Likud party
. But, importantly, the very-far-right Yisrael Beitenu party seems to have gained votes, putting its leader,
Avigdor Lieberman, in a sort of kingmaker role, as either Kadima or Likud will have to negotiate with him to form a governing coalition. The Likud party is claiming victory (seen in the shot above) because the vote seems to be a victory for the right-Lieberman will probably join with Likud.Chart credit.
What does this mean? A more nationalist government for Israel, probably. Avigdor Lieberman has proposed, for example, that Israel's Arab minority be made to pledge loyalty to the country or be stripped of citizenship.