The election is over but Israelis are still none the wiser as to who has won.
Both leading candidates claim victory and the right to lead the next government for themselves. While around three and a half million people voted, one man will have the final say. President Shimon Peres must choose which candidate he feels is more capable of forming a stable coalition. His first option is Tzipi Livni. With her Kadima party having won the most seats in the election, she believes she is the democratic choice. She said today: “Together the people have made a choice. I feel a great responsibility to unite Israelis and lead them down the path the country needs to go down. That is the right thing to do now.” Then there is the Likud party of Benjamin Netanyahu. It may have won one seat fewer than Livni’s Kadima, but with other right-wing nationalist parties scoring well, Netanyahu appears better set to form and maintain a coalition. After an election that has produced more questions than answers, the focus now shifts from the ballot box to the negotiating table.