The New Right - headed by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked - needed to earn 3.25% of the votes to pass the electoral threshold
The New Right Party has demanded a recount of IDF soldiers’ votes after the party passed the electoral threshold as of Thursday morning’s count and then reportedly dropped just below it.
The Central Elections Committee has not provided updated numbers since early Thursday morning and would not let members of the media or party representatives into the area where votes were being counted, such that the latest numbers available show Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s party passing with just 0.01% over the necessary 3.25% of the votes.
However, reports leaked from inside indicated that the New Right dropped below the threshold by an equally narrow margin, leading the party to seek a recount of the "double envelopes," which include soldiers, diplomats and others.
At about 11 a.m., the Central Elections Committee announced that they finished counting the double envelopes and that they are starting a review of the figures entered into the computers, which they said they do in every election.
“In light of the close results and the significance of every vote that can cause shifts in the division of the mandates, and in order to preserve the integrity of the elections, the Elections Committee is announcing that the review process is continuing. Another statement will be given when the review is completed,” the committee stated.
Before counting the soldiers' votes, the New reached 3.14% of the vote, or 127,504 votes.
With the early morning results in which New Right received 3.26% of the vote, Channel 12's Amit Segel presented the following scenario: Likud still stands at 35 Knesset seats; Blue and White with 33; Shas with eight; UTJ seven; Labor and Hadash-Ta'al both with six; Yisrael Beytenu with 5; and Kulanu, URP, New Right, Meretz and Ra'am-Balad with 4 each.
That is a drop of two seats for Blue and White, and one each for UTJ and URP.
The new scenario leaves the Right leading with a bloc of 67 seats, while the Center-Left bloc receives 53.
Before the soldiers’ votes were counted, the number of votes needed to get into the Knesset was 131,779, but that will rise slightly.
Bennett made a statement outside his home in Ra’anana on Wednesday, saying: “I gave what I could my entire life for the good of this nation. I was always a soldier of the country, as a fighter in Sayeret Matkal [Reconnaissance Unit], as a hi-tech entrepreneur, as Education Minister and as a member of the Security Cabinet during Operation Protective Edge.”
“Now the soldiers will decide where I’ll continue to fight for them,” Bennett added. “What’s certain is that I will never stop giving my all for the State of Israel.”
Bennett also wrote on social media calling for voters to check the results at their local polling places to see if they think there are irregularities.
“We won’t just wait, we’ll act,” he wrote. “Individual votes could make a difference, and therefore we must fight for every ballot… Check if it looks like there are irregularities, like if there are zero votes for New Right, even though you personally know 12 people who voted for us.” Read more at JPost