Factbox: Israeli electoral procedures

Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:11am EST

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(Reuters) - Following are voting statistics and procedures for Israel's January 22 election, in which the 120 seats in the single-chamber parliament (Knesset) are allocated by proportional representation to national party lists. -- Some 5.66 million people are eligible to vote at 10,128 polling stations. Election day is a holiday to make sure as many people as possible can cast a ballot. Voter turnout at the last national ballot in 2009 was 65.9 percent.

-- The 120 Knesset seats are assigned in proportion to each party's percentage of the total national vote. The minimum threshold required for a party to win a Knesset seat is two percent of the total votes cast.

-- The election is based on votes for parties not individuals. The parties have all drawn up lists of candidates, with the leaders taking the top spots. There are 34 lists competing for seats in the next legislature. Twelve parties won seats in the outgoing parliament. Full results are expected on January 23.

-- After the vote, President Shimon Peres will hold consultations with parties, usually within several days of the election, and picks a legislator to try to form a government. -- Traditionally, the task goes to the leader of the party that wins the most votes. The prime minister-designate has 42 days to form a cabinet and win parliamentary approval. If he or she fails, the president can ask another legislator to try to put together a team. Israel has always been ruled by coalition governments, since no one party has ever won enough votes in an election to secure a parliamentary majority of its own.

(Source - Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website) (Editing by Crispian Balmer)

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