The results of Tuesday's election will be finalized Thursday after the votes of Israel Defense Forces soldiers are tallied. These additional ballots could nab Yisrael Beiteinu or the Likud party another Knesset seat, which would put Likud and Kadima on equal standing in terms of Knesset representation.
Knesset seats are allocated after a party's votes are divided by 120, the number of parliament seats. About 28,000 votes are required per seat. Parties must garner at least 2 percent of the vote to be represented in parliament. The party closest to approaching the 2 percent minimum, the Green Movement-Meimad, is not expected to make the cut, as it would need more than 40,000 additional votes.
Excess voting arrangements allow parties with more than the necessary minimum to enter parliament, but less than the votes needed to nab an extra seat, to allocate "excess" votes to an allied party.
The military vote is not expected to nab Meretz a fourth seat. Zahava Gal-On, one of the Knesset's most highly-regarded lawmakers, is fourth on the Knesset list. Although the final election results will not be known until today, President Shimon Peres will not begin consulting with the parties over the formation of a new coalition until next Wednesday, when the election results are officially published.
Peres generally conducts the process quickly. As in the past, he is expected to try to complete the process within two days.
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