Balad denies conspiracy with Blue and White

"Balad does not make decisions according to the tactical whims of Blue and White, or anyone else."

September 26, 2019 21:31
1 minute read.
Balad denies conspiracy with Blue and White

MK Ayman Odeh, the leader of Hadash-Ta'al Party, and Benny gantz, head of the Blue and White Party.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Joint List Ayman Odeh said in an Arabic video posted to Facebook on Wednesday night that Blue and White asked the Balad party to remove their recommendation of Blue and White leader Benny Gantz so that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would receive the first mandate to form a coalition from President Reuven Rivlin.

Blue and White leaders decided that it would be impossible for Netanyahu to form a government and that after he failed, it would be easier for Gantz to build a coalition.

“We are interested in the mandate being given first to Netanyahu and only afterwards to us,” Odeh said Blue and White MK Ofer Shelah told him. “[Blue and White] believes Netanyahu won’t succeed in forming a government, after which the other parties won’t want a third election. That will cause public pressure, and then Gantz will be able to form a coalition.”

Rivlin said he gave Netanyahu the mandate because he received recommendations from 55 MKs and Gantz received 54. But Gantz had 57 before Balad renounced the support it had given Gantz as part of the recommendation of the 13-member Joint List that includes four Arab parties.

There is now no guarantee that Rivlin would give Gantz a chance to form a government, even if Netanyahu failed.

Shelah denied making the statement Odeh attributed to him.

Balad leader MK Mtanes Shehadeh tweeted on Thursday that Odeh’s remarks regarding Balad’s refusal to recommend Gantz for prime minister were inaccurate.

“Our decision not to recommend Gantz was made inside the party immediately after the election,” Shehadeh said. “It was a decision made in accordance with our consistent and independent values, that stemmed solely from our known and stated positions. Balad does not make decisions according to the tactical whims of Blue and White or anyone else.”

Odeh later apologized, saying that all parties in the Joint List do what is best for their constituency and not what is best for Blue and White.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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