Ayelet Shaked March 18, 2019 (Courtesy).
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Former justice minister Ayelet Shaked dispelled rumors that she will sit out the September 17 election in an address on Tuesday to the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) legal advisers conference.
Shaked was said to be seriously considering joining Likud, not running in the current race, and waiting for the 30-month minimum membership in the party to be able to run in the following election for Knesset and eventually for the prime minister’s role with the party.
But when asked by the mediator of Tuesday’s conference whether her statement at the parting speech at the Justice Ministry that she “would return to the ministry” applied to the upcoming election, Shaked said: “Yes, my intention is for now.”
Shaked told Bayit Yehudi activists that if her New Right runs as part of the Union of Right-Wing Parties (URP), she should lead the list.
“If there will be a joint list of right-wing parties, I need to be at the top, because I bring the most mandates,” she was quoted by KAN as telling the activists.
Sources close to Shaked said she decided it would be better to try to join Likud in the post-Netanyahu era as the head of a party who could bring mandates with her as a dowry, and not as an individual following an electoral failure in the April 9 election.
The sources cited as a model the agreement Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon made to merge his Kulanu party into Likud. According to the agreement, which was authorized by an internal Likud court on Tuesday, Kulanu has four seats on the joint list. The Likud court rejected a request by Likud MKs Ariel Kallner and Michal Shir to scale back the agreement to only two seats for Kulanu.
Channel 12 reported that by contrast, Blue and White is not expected to facilitate any more mergers. No contacts have been made with former MK Orly Levy-Abecassis’s Gesher party, which failed to cross the threshold in the April 9 election.
Blue and White MK Yair Lapid spoke at a legal conference at Bar-Ilan University on Tuesday and vowed to change the Diaspora clause in the Nation-State Law. He lamented that the clause only calls for Israel to help Diaspora Jews abroad and not in Israel, and said he wanted the law to recognize all streams of Judaism.
Such a clause would not be acceptable to the URP, which could still be given the Diaspora Affairs portfolio in ongoing negotiations on an expected cabinet reshuffle.
Netanyahu met on Tuesday with URP heads Rafi Peretz and Bezalel Smotrich about their joining the cabinet. A Likud spokesman said the meeting went well, and would continue on Wednesday.
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