President Reuven Rivlin meets with a delegation from the Joint (Arab) List at his residence March 22.
(photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
MK Abdullah Abu Marouf stepped down from the Knesset on Wednesday, and will be replaced by Saeed Alharomi when the resignation goes into effect on Friday.
Alharomi is a teacher and the former mayor of Segev-Shalom, a Beduin town in the Negev, and is a member of the United Arab List, an Islamist party that is one of the four making up the Joint List bloc.
Abu Marouf’s resignation came as part of a rotation agreement between the parties, by which he and Osama Sa’adi of the Ta’al party were supposed to resign and be replaced by Juma Azbarga of Balad and Alharomi.
However, former Balad MK Basel Ghattas’s resignation in March as part of a plea deal for being caught smuggling phones and documents to terrorists in prison complicated the rotation agreement, and the party has been arguing over what the solution should be, so that Balad will have four lawmakers in the Knesset as it was meant to.
An official statement from Ta’al, led by MK Ahmad Tibi, said that “the party is committed to enacting the rotation agreement as one unit, including its part of the agreement.” In keeping with that, Sa’adi sent a letter last month to the Joint List’s Reconciliation Committee, which deals with disputes between the parties, expressing willingness to resign last week.
However, Ta’al has refused to pull its candidate from further down the candidates list to clear the way for the next potential Balad lawmaker, Nivin Abu Rahmon of Balad, who would be the Joint List’s third female lawmaker.