WHY WAS THE ELECTION HELD IN THE FIRST PLACE?
Israeli parliaments can last four years and the outgoing one could have kept sitting until 2010. But Prime Minister Ehud Olmert quit last year over a corruption scandal.
LIVNI WON THE MOST SEATS, SHOULDN'T SHE BE PRIME MINISTER?
Not so fast. True, in Israel's 60-year history, the leader of the biggest parliamentary party has always been nominated prime minister, at least immediately after an election. But there is nothing in writing -- Israel has no formal constitution -- that obliges President Shimon Peres to ask Livni to forge a coalition.
SO WHEN WILL WE KNOW WHO IS PRIME MINISTER?
Peres is likely to take his time, consulting all parties, before nominating someone to try and form a government.
AND WILL PERES'S CHOICE THEN BE PRIME MINISTER?
Peres's choice will have 42 days to form a government.
In the meantime, Olmert will remain as caretaker prime minister.
DOES IT MATTER THAT THERE'S NO NEW PRIME MINISTER?
Yes and no. Some issues, such as negotiating a longer-term truce with Hamas after last month's war in the Gaza Strip seem likely to be dealt with by the outgoing administration.