Meretz pleads with left-wing voters to keep electoral threshold at bay

"Don't give in to the false, dangerous spin that says that the head of the largest party will form the next government," Gal-On says.

March 16, 2015 17:53
2 minute read.
Zehava Gal-On

Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On presenting the party's diplomatic platform. (photo credit: MERETZ)

Meretz focused its efforts on making sure the party doesn’t slip below the 3.25 percent electoral threshold as Election Day approached with Chairwoman Zehava Gal-On pleading with voters to stay with the party, saying “the strategic vote is the one that is in your heart.”

The party averaged five seats in last week’s polls, but there is a concern in Meretz that, in order to make sure Zionist Union’s votes surpass Likud’s, not enough left-wing voters will choose Meretz.

“Don’t give in to the false, dangerous spin that says the head of the largest party will form the next government,” Gal-On said in a video she posted on Facebook. “That is a lie. That is an attempt to steal votes from Meretz. The truth is that the president tasks the person who receives the most recommendations with forming the government not the head of the largest party. That’s the law in Israel.”

Gal-On repeated her party’s commitment to recommend Zionist Union chairman Isaac Herzog as prime minister and warned that if Meretz voters cast ballots for Zionist Union they may find Meretz outside of the Knesset and Netanyahu as prime minister.

“That means four seats of leftwing votes won’t be counted, and Herzog won’t be prime minister, and the Left will be out of the Knesset. Without Meretz, Herzog has no chance of replacing Netanyahu,” she said.

At the end of the video, the words “We can’t lose Meretz; it depends only on you,” appeared on the screen.

MKs Tamar Zandberg and Michal Rozin, as well as candidates Gabi Lasky and Uri Zaki, met at Meretz campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv Monday evening to woo undecided voters.

Zandberg said the phone calls went well, but that she found a lot of Meretz supporters are still not sure they’ll vote for the party. “Some are convinced; not everyone,” she admitted.

“Most of the deliberations are about voting for the big bloc [Zionist Union]. We’re passing on the message that without Meretz, the bloc loses votes. That convinces a lot of people,” Zandberg recounted.

“We’re telling people to vote with their hearts and that if they don’t vote Meretz, we won’t be in the Knesset and Herzog won’t be prime minister,” Meretz spokeswoman Aya Mizrahi explained. “We’re also listing our great achievements.”

Also Monday, the party posted on social media an image calling for voters to “Vote Meretzog,” explaining that a vote for Meretz is one for Herzog.

“If you’re debating between Meretz and Zionist Union, you don’t have to debate anymore,” the graphic reads. “Even the Zionist Union says vote for Meretz, because even the Zionist Union knows that without Meretz, Herzog does not have a government. Valuable left-wing Knesset seats will go down the drain and we will be stuck with [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu for four more years.”

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