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Arab-Israeli legislator emerges as kingmaker

If the current numbers hold and the Raam Party gets four Knesset seats, its leader Mansour Abbas could hold the key to choosing the country’s next prime minister.

Knesset member Mansour Abbas woke up this morning with four Knesset seats in his pocket. Last night's vote tally had seemed to promise him five, but as the count continued his Raam party lost one. With 95.6% of the votes counted this number can still change, but it seems clear that Raam will be in the next Knesset.

Raam's achievement is dramatic on several levels. On March 23, for the fourth time in two years, Israelis were called to the voting booth. As things seem now, there is once again no decisive outcome and it is unclear whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or his many rivals will be able to put together a government. Much hinges now on Raam and the choice Abbas will have to make.

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