Israel Election 2013 Facts



Key facts about Israel’s election: system, candidates, forming government

Source: AP, 1-22-13

Key facts about Israel’s general election:—What’s at stake: Voters will elect a 120-member parliament, or Knesset, Israel’s 19th.

Citizens vote for party lists, not individual candidates. Seats are allocated in the Knesset according to the percentage of the vote the parties win.—Who’s running: There are 32 parties running.

  • Likud Party: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Jewish Home: Naftali Bennett
  • Labor: Shelly Yachimovich
  • Yisrael Beiteinu: Avigdor Lieberman.
  • Likud and Yisrael Beitenu have joined forces in a unified list for the election, but will continue to function as separate parties after the election.
—Forming a government: In Israel’s 64-year history, no party has ever won an outright majority of 61 seats, and the country has always been governed by a coalition.
  • The Vote: 5,656,705 eligible voters.  10,128 polling stations, opened at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT, 12 a.m. ET) and close at 10 p.m. (2000 GMT, 3 p.m. ET).
  • Exit polls will be released immediately after voting ends. Official results throughout the night.
  • Election Day is a national holiday.
—Israel by the numbers:

  • Population: Nearly 8 million, 75 percent (6 million) are Jews, 20 percent (1.6 million) are Arabs and the rest are classified as “others,”  non-Jewish immigrants.
  • Per capita GDP is $30,500.
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