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10:31 PM Final Results...
8:34 PM On Channel 2 TV tonight, we were shown different ballots that were cast by soldiers and the others. Many soldiers wrote "Gilad Shalit" on their ballots.
The ballot I found chilling was cast from a prison -- hand-written on the ballot in Arabic was the word: حماس (HAMAS)
7:12 PM Final Election Outcome: No change at all in any of the seat allocations after counting all the votes from soldiers, diplomats, hospitalized, maritime people, and criminals.
Same as what I reported a few hours ago, but now it's official.
5:22 PM Update; Reshet Bet/Channel B radio reports that the official results will be announced at 6:00 PM -- only 38 minutes from now.
5:19 PM The Israel Knesset Elections Committee will hold a press conference at 7 PM Israel time, to announce to final results of the election.
All media sources are reporting there are no changes, so a big "press conference" just seems like a waste of everyone's time... Will keep you all posted in case anything interesting develops.
4:49 PM Haaretz reports that according to sources inside the election committee, after the final counting of the absentee/IDF soldier ballots, there is no change in the seat allocations per party.
These are unofficial statements...unsure when final announcement will be made. Pictured at right is a Reuters photo of a ballot cast for captured IDF soldier, Gilad Shalit.
4:44 PM Jameel: I have a feeling there's not going to be any chance in the number of seats...
4:34 PM Reshet Bet -- Israel Channel B announces that its only a matter of minutes before the official announcement of the final election results...
3:33 PM Dozens of soldiers voted "Gilad Shalit"
3:11 PM Rumors flying everywhere of what the final results are.
They range from:
Labor gaining another seat.
Likud tying with Kadima, 27-27
Likud gains over Kadima, 28-27
It's all conjecture! Waiting for official results...
2:56 PM The votes have been counted...the final analysis is being done now to determine any changes in the political spectrum...stay tuned.
1:51 PM Could politics get any weirder? Yisrael Beiteinu chief negotiator tells IDF Army radio (Galei Tzahal); Its possible that Yisrael Beiteinu's leader, Avigdor Leiberman, will reccommend to Israel's president, that Leiberman himself should be the next Prime Minister of Israel, instead of reccomending Netanyahu or Livni. (source: glz)
12:51 PM Meretz leader slams Kadima and their "false campaign."
Meretz Chairman Chaim Oron said to Ynet that his party will not recommend the president to place the responsibility of putting together the cabinet neither to Livni nor Netanyahu. "We said even before the elections that if Livni goes into negotiations with Lieberman, we will not recommend her.11:57 AM More from Kadima MK Shitrit on Channel B (Reshet Bet) Radio:
Oron responded to his party's performance in the elections, saying, "We will hold a long series of talks, and will try to analyze. It is clear that there is a partial answer – what happened in the last days of the elections with Kadima's very successful false campaign."
Kadima will suggest to President Peres that Tzippi Livni should govern a leftwing government comprised of Kadima, Labor, Mertez, Shas, and UTJ -- a total of 60 seats, with support from the 11 Arab seats outside the government.
When asked if this was "going against the will of the voters, who voted for a rightwing majority", Shitrit replied, "with all due respect, the voters are stupid."
11:46 AM The 150,000 outstanding votes from the 18th Knesset election are being tallied now, and should be completed by the afternoon. The Israeli election board will release the results this evening.
Prior to these outstanding votes, Kadima is leading the Likud by 36,231 votes
11:43 AM National Union representative, MK-elect Yaakov Katz said he was very pleased after meeting with Likud leader Netanyahu. "Netanyahu repeated what he said before the elections, that he wants a rightwing, pro-Eretz Yisrael government" (A7 via rotter)
10:50 AM Kadima MK Meir Shitrit on Channel B Radio this morning: "With all due respect, the voters are idiots."
Best Captions for Meir Shitrit -- on right:
"The leftwing lost the election by THIS much"
"I want to squash stupid Israeli voters like this"
"But we were this close to signing an agreement with Hamas..."
10:15 AM IAF helicopters attack Hamas positions in Khan Younis, Gaza. (ynet)
9:13 AM The 18th Knesset will have 31 New MKs.
9:11 AM IDF Galei Zahal Radio reports: The additional 150,000 votes should be tallied by this evening.
9:06 AM Walla reports that Livni is finding it too difficult to put together a coalition, and is going to ask
Shows really excellent leadership qualities...she can't even form a coalition without the help from
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד