The story

The leaders of Israel's two largest parties jockeyed to form ruling coalitions Wednesday, each claiming a mandate to govern as unofficial election results indicated a virtual tie between them.

With all precincts reporting and more than 99 percent of the vote counted, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's Kadima party was on track to win 28 seats in the 120-member Knesset, the same as it currently holds. Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party was forecast to win 27 -- a dramatic jump from its current 12, according to Israeli media.

Yisrael Beytenu was on track to win 15 seats, up from 11 currently. Labor appeared to have slid from 18 seats to 13. A fourth-place finish would be an unprecedentedly weak showing for Labor, now led by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who also is a former prime minister. Read full article »

CNN's Ben Wedeman contributed to this report.

All About IsraelTzipi LivniBenjamin NetanyahuIsraeli Politics

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