Yair Lapid rejects calls to join Kadima

Polls have shown that if Lapid ran with Kadima, the Center-Left bloc could come close to eclipsing the Center-Right bloc.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
January 10, 2012 18:27
2 minute read.
Yair Lapid

Yair Lapid 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Yair Lapid has not given any interviews since he entered politics Sunday but he did explain why he decided against joining Kadima or another existing party on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

Polls have shown that if Lapid ran with Kadima, the Center- Left bloc could come close to eclipsing the Center-Right bloc.

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Kadima council chairman Haim Ramon called upon Lapid to run with Kadima in an interview with Army Radio.

“The only way to remove Netanyahu from power is for Kadima led by Livni and Yair Lapid’s party to run together,” Ramon said.

Responding to advice on his Facebook page that he could avoid pitfalls if he ran with an existing party, Lapid wrote back “If I was only looking for a way to protect myself from pitfalls, I wouldn’t have entered politics in the first place.”

The five polls published since Lapid entered politics on Sunday have predicted completely differently how many seats his party could win and what impact he will have on the formation of the next government.

The polls have given Lapid’s party anywhere from seven seats in the next Knesset to 20, with an average of 13. His totals will be impacted by who wins the Kadima leadership race and what kind of party will be formed by former Shas leader Aryeh Deri.



While most of the polls show the Right-Center bloc maintaining a significant majority, a TNS Teleseker poll published in Ma’ariv found that a Deri-led party could help a Center-Left coalition be formed.

The poll found that if Deri did not run, the Center-Right would win 62 seats and the Center-Left 58. But if Deri would form a party, the Center Right would only win 59 and the Center-Left 57, while Deri’s party would win four.

Deri is considered more moderate than current Shas chairman Eli Yishai. He brought Shas into Yitzhak Rabin’s coalition with Labor and Meretz when he led the party. Deri has said in recent interviews that he would only join a national-unity government.

When a Dahaf Institute poll published in Yediot Aharonot asked who was the most fit candidate to be prime minister, Netanyahu beat Kadima leader Tzipi Livni 55% to 23.5%. If Livni would be replaced at the helm of Kadima with Shaul Mofaz, Netanyahu would win 60.5% to 9.6%.

When put up against Lapid, respondents preferred Netanyahu 57.7 to 19.7%.

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