Stav Shaffir quits Knesset

Labor candidates sue their party.

Stav Shaffir (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Stav Shaffir
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Democratic Union number two Stav Shafir resigned from the Knesset on Tuesday after the Central Elections Committee ruled she could not run with the Meretz Party after once accepting party funding from Labor.
Shaffir formed the Democratic Union on Thursday with Meretz and former prime minister Ehud Barak’s Israel Democratic Party. She had not intended to quit the Knesset, but the head of the Central Elections Committee, Judge Hanan Melczer, ruled that because Meretz is a current Knesset faction, Shaffir could not run with Democratic Union unless she quit the Knesset and returned the mandate to Labor.
“I promised that I would do everything in order to switch the Netanyahu government and to save the Israeli democracy, and that’s what I’ll do, with all my power,” said Shafir. “The Democratic Union is going to change the face of Israeli politics.”
Shaffir will be replaced in the Knesset by the next candidate on the Labor list, former MK Merav Michaeli, when her resignation takes effect on Thursday. The Democratic Union’s list cannot be submitted to the Central Elections Committee until then.
The final candidates of the Democratic Union will be revealed by then, as will reserved slots in Labor. Labor candidates Michal Biran and Emily Moatti filed a lawsuit in the Tel Aviv District Court against their own party for reserved slots that leader Amir Peretz wants to add ahead of them on the list.
The case will be heard Wednesday morning, ahead of the Labor convention, where Labor’s bond with MK Orly Levy-Abecassis’s Gesher party will come to a final vote.
Barak published a video on social media calling for Blue and White and Labor to join the Democratic Union in the final 48 hours before Thursday night’s deadline. “History is at arm’s length and so is the missed opportunity,” Barak said in the video. “Only a large bloc can guarantee victory.”