Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 18:12 pm (KSA) 15:12 pm (GMT)

[FACTBOX] Electoral procedures

Following are voting statistics and procedures for Israel's Feb. 10 election, in which the 120 seats in the single-chamber parliament are allocated by proportional representation to national party lists of candidates.

* Some 5.3 million people are eligible to vote, at 9,263 polling stations.

* Polling stations open at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) and close at 10 p.m. (2000 GMT).

* Exit polls are broadcast by Israeli media immediately after voting ends. Final results are expected in the morning and are certified as official when they are published on Feb. 18 in the government gazette.

* The 120 seats in the single-chamber Knesset are allocated by proportional representation to party lists, which may secure seats after passing a minimum threshold of winning at least 2 percent of the national vote.

* Voters place a slip of paper with a party's initial and name in an envelope, which they put into a ballot box. The votes are counted at the polling station and results conveyed to a regional election board.

* Israel's president holds consultations with political 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 won the most votes. The prime minister-designate has up to 42 days to form a government and win parliamentary approval. If he or she fails, the president can ask another legislator to try to put together a government. 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.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, already serving in a caretaker capacity since resigning in September in a corruption scandal, remains in office until a new government is sworn in.

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