'Independence' party name already taken

Barak may not be able to call his new party what he wanted as existing party names cannot be used.

Smiley Barak (photo credit: BAZ RATNER)
Smiley Barak
(photo credit: BAZ RATNER)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak may not succeed in his quest to turn his five-MK Knesset faction into a party, because the name “Independence Party” is already taken, a letter from the national party registrar revealed on Sunday.
In a press release, Moti Heinrich, 59, said Barak could not use the name Independence Party, because he ran unsuccessfully for Knesset on a list under that name in 1981 and 1984, and he does not rule out running under the name again.
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He submitted the letter from the party registrar’s office indicating that names of an existing or past party cannot be used.
Heinrich’s party advocated capitalist political ideas that ostensibly are the opposite of what Barak intends to advocate in his new party.
“Barak must not have checked,” Heinrich said. “We will use all the legal means at our disposal to prevent Barak from using our name.”
Independence faction chairwoman Einat Wilf said that she and her allies were actually aware that a party that did not pass the electoral threshold had used the name before they chose it.
Wilf said the purpose of the law preventing the reuse of party names was to make sure people would not be confused at the polls. She expressed confidence that her faction would be able to persuade the registrar that people would not be confused.
“We have not submitted a request to be registered as a party in that name and we not yet know when we will,” Wilf said.
“When we do, we will explore all possible alternatives.”