Jan. 22 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other politicians cast their ballots in a general election expected to push Israel further to the right and away from peace talks with Palestinians. Lindsey Parietti reports.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu votes as polls show his party alliance taking the lead in the country's general election.
His Likud party and the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu group are combined expected to take the most seats in parliament, giving him a third term.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU SAYING:
"We want Israel to succeed, we vote Likud-Beitenu. That's why. The bigger it is, the more Israel will succeed."
No Israeli party has ever won an absolute majority in the 120-seat Knesset.
Netanyahu is expected to reach out to Naftali Bennett, the leader of the far-right Jewish Home Party, and others to push through his controversial agenda of increasing Israeli settlements and confronting Iran's nuclear ambitions.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) LEADER OF THE JEWISH HOME RIGHT-WING PARTY NAFTALI BENNETT SAYING:
"Our goal is to unite all of the state of Israel -- the religious, the non-religious, the secular, the ultra religious, the Arabs, the Jews -- everyone together to unite and do some good things for this great nation."
Centrist leader and former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni also cast her ballot in Tel Aviv Tuesday.
She said she was returning to politics to give Israel a new direction.
Offering an alternative to Netanyahu's conservative agenda, the opposition leader has pledged to "fight for peace" with Palestinians.