In tacit admission of election defeat, Lapid cancels plans to lead Israeli climate delegation

With right-wing bloc leading in vote count, Prime Minister Yair Lapid cancels plans to head Israeli delegation to UN climate change conference in Sharm el-Sheikh.

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid has cancelled his plans to lead the country’s delegation to an upcoming climate change conference following the Knesset election Tuesday.

Lapid had been planning to lead Israel’s delegation to the upcoming United Nations annual climate change summit, hosted by Egypt in the Sinai coastal town of Sharm el-Sheikh from November 6th through the 18th.

On Wednesday, however, the caretaker prime minister cancelled his plans to represent Israel at the conference and to address the gathering.

President Isaac Herzog will take Lapid’s place at the head of the delegation.

Lapid made the decision in direct response to the outcome of Tuesday’s general election, according to an official close to the prime minister, Israel National News reported Wednesday.

The official added that the move represents the prime minister’s acknowledgement of the “will of the [majority] of voters” and his desire to honor the election’s outcome.

All four major exit polls published Tuesday night showed Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies securing a narrow majority in the 25th Knesset, paving the way for a right-wing government.

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The right-wing bloc’s majority may expand to as many as 65 seats, if the small left-wing party Meretz fails to cross the electoral threshold.

Parties must receive at least 3.25% of the vote to enter the Knesset.

Thus far, with almost 86% of the vote counted, Meretz and the Arab nationalist Balad faction are both below the threshold, with Meretz needing some 25,000 additional votes to cross the threshold and enter the next Knesset.

The left-wing Labor Party also suffered a loss at the polls, barely squeaking by the electoral threshold to enter the Knesset with four seats after earning seven in the previous election.