Firebrand Arab lawmaker's endorsement could bolster Herzog's chances of unseating Netanyahu

March 10, 2015 06:07
1 minute read.

Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog’s chances of becoming prime minister may have risen considerably Monday when Balad MK Haneen Zoabi said for the first time she could recommend to President Reuven Rivlin that Herzog form the next government.

In Friday’s Jerusalem Post poll, both the Center-Right and Center-Left blocs had 56 seats and Kulanu had eight.

But Likud officials said they were not troubled by the numbers, because they did not believe that the 13 MKs the poll predicted for the Joint (Arab) List would recommend Herzog to Rivlin.

The Likud noted that Zoabi was instrumental in blocking a proposed surplus vote-sharing agreement with Meretz on Friday that could have prevented tens of thousands of left-wing votes from being wasted. Joint List head Ayman Odeh of Hadash wanted a deal with Meretz, but Balad blocked it because it did not want to cooperate with a Zionist party in any way.

But Joint List sources who spoke to Zoabi at length on Sunday and Monday revealed that she had been persuaded to back Herzog to Rivlin and would recommend doing so when their party meets with the president after the March 17 election. The sources said that after standing tough against the vote-sharing agreement, Balad would feel more comfortable giving in on the Herzog issue and backing him instead of the initial plan not to support anyone.

“The Joint List will do everything possible to ensure that Netanyahu will fall,” a Joint List source said. “At the right time the wise decision will be made.”

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