• Gantz, the only candidate nominated to succeed Netanyahu ally Yuli Edelstein as speaker, won the speakership vote with 74 lawmakers voting in favour and 18 against in the 120-seat chamber.

JERUSALEM: Israel's ex-military chief Benny Gantz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's main rival, was elected speaker of parliament Thursday, in a surprise development that could lead to an emergency alliance between the two.

Gantz, the only candidate nominated to succeed Netanyahu ally Yuli Edelstein as speaker, won the speakership vote with 74 lawmakers voting in favour and 18 against in the 120-seat chamber.