(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Yahad party chairman Eli Yishai wrote to his election campaign staff on Monday to tell them that he was unable to pay them for their work during the election.
Yahad narrowly failed to enter the Knesset, taking 125,000 votes constituting 2.97% of the vote, just a few thousand ballots short of the 3.25% needed to cross the electoral threshold.
Yahad can therefore not gain party funding available to Knesset factions.
“The [election] result left us with a very large debt, which is making it hard for us at the moment to pay salaries,” Yishai wrote.
“We are continuing to work as hard as possible to cover the deficit so that we will be able to fulfil our obligations to you. We apologize for the delay and are doing everything in our power to fulfil our obligations,” he continued.
Yishai also referenced the electoral fraud his party alleged had taken place on election day, which, he claims, prevented them from crossing the electoral threshold.
“We succeeded, because 125,000 people thought that there is another way, and thousands more who wanted to vote for Yahad but were prevented from doing so,” he said.
“Our participation in the Knesset was done through a verified and realistic estimation that Yahad would enter the Knesset. Because of this estimate, we took upon ourselves loans, including personal guarantees in order to allow the entire campaign to operate. The assumption was that we would cover the expenses from money which the party would receive after the election.
“Unfortunately in the last 48 hours there was an electoral turn-about occured which even the greatest experts did not expect, including fraudulent activities that hurt us severely,” the Yahad chairman said.
Yishai, along with other party members including Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir have said that they may file an appeal with the High Court of Justice if they gather enough evidence of electoral fraud.
Ben-Gvir told The Jerusalem Post that the party has been given access to the ballot boxes and is examining them for irregularities that would prove the party’s claim that electoral fraud denied them the approximately 10,000 votes they need to cross the electoral threshold.
Ben-Gvir has said that the party is also gathering testimony from people who witnessed fraudulent activity at the polling stations, and has until next Wednesday to file an appeal.