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Thu January 31, 2013
Elections in Israel shift focus to political center
In elections held last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's party received the majority of the votes, which secures him another term as prime minister. But the election wasn't exactly a complete triumph for Netanyahu. His party, Likud, only received 31 seats in Israel's parliament. That's 11 fewer seats than they received in the last election.
Netanyahu now has to form a coalition among the 12 parties that won seats in the parliament. Earlier, he based his support on right wing parties, but he may have to reconsider that strategy, due to strong performances by centrist candidates.
Meanwhile in Jordan, some are hailing last week’s parliamentary elections as a step towards greater democracy and a popular endorsement of King Abdullah’s reform policies. But critics of the monarchy claim that gerrymandering in the country favors Bedouin tribes that have historically backed the king. This led Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, which is the country’s strongest opposition force, to boycott the election.
To learn more about the short and long term impact of elections in Israel and Jordan, Global Journalist spoke to two Middle East experts.
Wayne White is a scholar with the Middle East Institute.
Glenys Sugarman is the Executive Secretary of the Foreign Press Association in Israel.