Israel's Election Still Too Close to Call

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Early poll results in Israel show the outcome of the country's pivotal election held Tuesday is still too close to call.

By 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, 76 percent of the votes had been counted, but only one seat separated Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's lead over rival Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

Livni claimed 29 seats in the 120-seat parliament while Netanyahu stayed right behind with 28, according to Israel's Channel 1 television.

Click play for more on Israel's elections with CBN News Senior Editor John Waage in Jerusalem.   Also, watch his previous report on the elections here.

Several votes from soldiers across the country have yet to be counted and could ultimately determine the election's outcome.

Still, both leaders claimed victory early Wednesday.

"With God's help, I will lead the next government," Netanyahu told a crowd chanting his nickname, Bibi. "The national camp, led by the Likud, has won a clear advantage."

Meanwhile Livni, who would be Israel's second female prime minister if elected, offered her victory speech to supporters.

"Today the people chose Kadima," she declared. "We will form the next government led by Kadima."

Official results are expected to be released within the next two days, but because of Israel's election process, Israeli President Shimon Peres will have the final say.

Peres has one week to name a party leader from those in the election, then that party leader will have 28 days to form a government.

Usually, the candidate with the most votes is chosen by the president to form the 61-member coalition, but Peres does have the right to give the task to someone else.

Netanyahu has been widely favored as the person in a better position to lead than Livni.

Sources: Jerusalem Post, AFP, Associated Press

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