Everyone’s heard of winning the battle but losing the war. That’s sort of where Israel’s acting prime minister, Tzipi Livni, finds herself after taut national elections Tuesday.
Livni’s Kadima Party won one more seat in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, than chief rival Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s Likud Party, but Netanyahu appears to have the best chance at assembling a governing coalition. That’s because Likud, third-place finisher Israel Beiteinu and other conservative-leaning parties can form a right bloc that’s six to eight seats larger than any potential left-leaning bloc.
Final results won’t be known until soldiers’ votes are counted, but it appears Netanyahu, who was prime minister from 1996 to 1999, has the inside track to head Israel’s government. There’s an outside chance Livni, who was foreign minister in the outgoing government, and Netanyahu could come together and form a unity coalition. Possible, but not likely.