Bayit Yehudi and National Union agree to run on joint list

Peretz: We need to prevent votes being wasted • Party leaders call on Otzma Yehudit to sign on

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July 9, 2019 22:17
2 minute read.
Bayit Yehudi and National Union agree to run on joint list

Bayit Yehudi and National Union agree to run on joint list. (photo credit: OFFICE OF EDUCATION MINISTER RABBI RAFI PERETZ)

 
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The Bayit Yehudi and National Union parties signed an agreement on Tuesday to run together on a joint electoral list in the upcoming elections, renewing the arrangement they agreed to for the April elections.

According to the agreement, Bayit Yehudi leader and interim Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz will be given the No. 1 slot on the joint list, while National Union leader and interim Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich will be given first choice on ministerial posts.

Smotrich insisted on being appointed justice minister in coalition negotiations with Likud after the last general election, although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was extremely reluctant to accede to this request and the appointment seemed unlikely.

Peretz will again request the education ministry, which Smotrich is not interested in.

In a joint statement to the press, the party leaders called on Itamar Ben-Gvir, a senior figure in the ultra-nationalist Otzma Yehudit Party, to meet with them “immediately” in order to “finalize an agreement for a joint run on the basis of the existing partnership.”

Said Peretz and Smotrich: “We are in a period where we need to show responsibility and unity in the religious-Zionist sector and the real Right, in order to maximize [our] electoral potential and to prevent wasting votes, [something] which has already prevented the possibility of establishing a right-wing government [and led to] new elections.”

They also called on Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett to enter into “immediate negotiations” with the new Bayit Yehudi-National Union list as well, to form an even broader political union.

During the last elections, Bayit Yehudi and National Union ran together with Otzma Yehudit as the Union of Right-Wing Parties, garnering five seats.

However, Otzma has been dissatisfied with its treatment during the course of the interim government, and severed ties with Bayit Yehudi in protest. The party has said, however, that it is open to running on a joint list once again if it is given the right terms.

Bennett and his New Right Party are reluctant to join Bayit Yehudi and National Union, since his party was formed to attract secular and liberal right-wing voters and advance the interests of such voters.

Bennett believes that the hard-liners in the more religious parties will scare his voters away.

Shaked is yet to decide with whom she will run in the current elections, if at all.

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