Will Blue and White stay together if there’s an election?

Lapid won’t commit to running as Gantz’s number two again.

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May 29, 2019 01:32
1 minute read.
Blue and White leaders Benny Gantz (L) and Yair Lapid (R) embrace

Blue and White leaders Benny Gantz (L) and Yair Lapid (R) embrace during a campaign event, February 21st, 2019. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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The Blue and White bloc proved a formidable challenger to Likud in the April 2019 election, but it is unclear that it would run in the same formation if there is another election this year.

MK Yair Lapid, chairman of Yesh Atid, would not respond to questions as to whether he would run again as number two on the list, after Israel Resilience leader Benny Gantz.

“We’ll discuss it,” Lapid said when pressed to answer on Army Radio Tuesday morning. “We haven’t discussed it yet, but we will. It worked out last time.”

The third party making up Blue and White’s centrist bloc is Telem, led by former Likud minister Moshe Ya’alon.

Lapid’s comments come after persistent reports of disagreements within the Blue and White campaign ahead of the April election and distrust and acrimony between the different parties’ senior staff.

Meanwhile, Blue and White sources said Likud negotiators have attempted to convince some of the bloc’s MKs to move to the coalition or to agree to vote with the Likud on holding a snap election, since they do not yet have the necessary 61 votes to dissolve a Knesset.

Party sources said some of the MKs hope to leverage their loyalty into better positions on the party list if there is another election, or to positions in the Knesset.

In recent weeks, Likud negotiator Natan Eshel reportedly attempted to pressure Omer Yankelevich, the second-ever female haredi (ultra-Orthodox) MK, and MK Gadi Yevarkan, who ran in the Likud primary a decade ago, to switch from Blue and White to Likud, to no avail.

However, some in Likud said this was a negotiating tactic meant to make potential coalition partners think that the Likud had other options for forming a government.

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