With the election in the books and the ballots being counted, it is no clearer now than 24 hours ago who will be forming the next Israeli government. Exit polls suggest Kadima will complete an amazing comeback by passing Likud in number of seats, but they also suggest that Likud may have a somewhat easier time of forming a government.
Rather than quibble over details, both parties have decided to declare victory, and are now scrambling to put together the support of another smaller parties to have a viable coalition.
In the end, both sides may be facing an uphill battle. The right-wing has enough seats, but the ability to piece together a government including both Yisrael Beiteinu and all the right-wing religious parties that campaigned so aggressively against him will be no small task. The left-center may too find that luring enough seats from the right to form a government will be easier said than done.
This election seems to have done little more than draw the battle lines for a protracted political fight for a credible coalition. Only one question remains: which party will President Shimon Peres give first crack at it?
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