(photo credit: REUTERS)
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid’s associates denied reports on Tuesday that he was willing to abdicate the top slot on a potential united Knesset list with Koolanu to the new party’s leader, former welfare minister Moshe Kahlon.
When Lapid and Kahlon met on Monday, Lapid reportedly showed him polls indicating that if they ran together, they could win 24 seats. But no agreements were reached during the discussion, and Kahlon has continued to criticize Lapid’s policies in his public speeches.
“The reports are baseless,” Yesh Atid said in an official response. “They are rumors that are far from the truth. The issue was not even raised between the two of them.”
Lapid has said publicly that he supports running together with another party. But Kahlon’s associates have insisted that his party will run alone, without any current MKs on its list of candidates.
Kahlon’s associates were angry about the content of the meeting being leaked to the press and blamed Lapid. But Lapid’s associates denied leaking the discussion.
On Sunday, Kahlon’s associates said that by the end of the week, Koolanu would reveal its candidates. But that was postponed to next week, when Kahlon is only expected to reveal two candidates.
The rest will be kept a secret until next month. The deadline for submitting lists to the Central Elections Committee at the Knesset is January 29.
Most of the candidates on Koolanu’s list will be experienced and successful socioeconomic leaders. But the first candidates to be revealed will be a security figure and a diplomatic expert, most likely former ambassador to the US Michael Oren.