Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz, whose party narrowly squeezed into the Knesset with two seats as the last votes were counted Thursday, convened his party’s activists to thank them for their work during the campaign and called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a centrist government.

“We did it together,” said Mofaz, conceding that he expected a better result, but accepting the outcome and pledging to “do our best for the state of Israel.”

“The political center emerged strengthened, weakening the ruling party in the process,” Mofaz said, commenting on Yair Lapid’s party’s electoral triumph. ”Coalition negotiations begin next week. This is an opportunity to represent the banner of the sane center.”

Kadima, the largest party of the outgoing Knesset, had stood on the edge of dropping off the political map altogether. It managed to squeeze over the electoral threshold after the final 240,000 votes — cast by soldiers, prisoners and diplomats — were counted, and finished with 2.09 percent of the vote, ensuring Knesset seats for Mofaz and MK Israel Hasson.