Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu called a press conference for 5:45 p.m. today, just four hours before polls close on Election Day, but the Yesh Atid and Zionist Union parties appeal to Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, who heads the Central Election Committee, to forbid the press conference, Times of Israel reports.
Campaigning is forbidden on Election Day itself, and Joubran ruled that a live press conference would constitute a campaign ad by default.
Likud has until 6:30 p.m. to appeal Joubran’s decision.
Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. for Israel’s 20th Knesset election.
Unlike years past, analysts have said the race between the two leading factions is too close to call with confidence, though the real drama will likely come in the next few days, as smaller parties make recommendations for prime minister, swaying each side’s ability to form a coalition. Among the possible juggernauts are the upstart Kulanu party, the Arab Joint List, which brought together the main Arab parties for the first time, and the Shas party.
The first exit polls are expected at 10 p.m., after which official results will begin to roll in. The official final results won’t be publicized until Thursday.