Israel\'s TV Exit Poll Projections: Sharon Thrashes Barak by 19 Points in Israeli Election
Likud leader Ariel Sharon won Tuesday's election for prime minister in a crushing 19-point defeat over resigned Prime Minister Ehud Barak, according to Israeli television exit poll projections.
According to Israeli TV estimates, Sharon defeated Barak by 59.5 percent to 40.5 percent, both Israeli television stations said.
Al-Jazira TV satellite channel reported that official results will be announced Wednesday (1200 GMT).
Sharon's supporters gathered at the Tel Aviv exhibition center, exploded with joy, dancing and hugging one other, after the announcement shortly after polls closed across the country at (2000 GMT).
Turnout among Israel's some 4.5 million voters was low throughout the day, with latest official figures two hours before ballots closed showing voter participation at 58 percent, said reports.
Shortly after the unofficial result, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat said that he respects Israel's election of Sharon as prime minister and “hopes the peace process will continue under him,” reported AFP – Albawaba.com
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