Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu waves to supporters at the Likud-Yisrael Beitenu headquarters in Tel Aviv - Reuters
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition has secured a narrow win at the parliamentary election on Tuesday. Preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons will be the government's first challenge.
Netanyahu's right-wing bloc had won 31 seats against its previous figures of 42 seats in the last election four years before. The election committee has released the final figures on the early hours of Wednesday.
The main opposition Labour was pushed to the third place after the Yesh Atid party posed a surprise win of 19 seats. However Netanyahu shrugged off the opponents' progress at the polling and aimed at forming the government at the 19th Knesset (parliament).
"I hope to lead this change and for that we need to form the broadest government possible. And I have started doing that tonight," said Netanyahu during his victory speech.
He quickly turned his focus to Iran's nuclear ambitions by saying, "The new government will be based on five principles: The first is security. We will meet the security threats Israel faces, first and foremost is stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon."
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There is also possibility that Netanyahu's Likud-Beitenu bloc not coming to power if the numbers at the 120-seat Knesset go to the opposite way.
Conceding, Netanyahu pledged to reach out to "many partners" in order to form a "broad" coalition.
Netanyahu's coalition partner and Yisreal Beitenu's leader Avigdor Lieberman said, "I'm happy that our two main missions were achieved. We have ensured continuity in the rule of the national camp and the continued leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu".
Netanyahu is likely to press ahead with his controversial housing settlement plans at the sensitive E1 region, if he assumes office.
On the other hand, the third placed Labour has also started reaching out to other political parties which have garnered seats in the election.
Labour party leader Shelly Yacimovich said, "I will do everything in my power - in fact, I have already got the wheels in motion - to create a coalition of parties with a shared social and economic agenda, which will also kick-start the peace process. We have an opportunity here that we cannot miss to liberate the citizens of Israel from the abuse of the Netanyahu government. Since the fate of Israeli society is hanging in the balance, we must act quickly, discretely and seriously".
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