By RUTH EGLASH
The Gil Pensioners Party, which won a surprising seven mandates in last week's general election, will not be transformed from a party of "grandpa's" into one made up of slick politicians, the party's public relations consultant told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
Yuval Porat, copresident of the Spin PR firm, said, "We don't have a program to make them into politicians, that would be a mistake. The success of the party is based on the fact that they are real people who can speak the language of the public.
"Obviously, they were not politicians before last Tuesday and even though they are now in the Knesset, they are still caring pensioners who want the best solutions possible. What we are doing now is giving them the tools to help them succeed in the political arena and obtain the best possible results," he said.
Spin started working with Gil just over a month ago. Porat said the company had extensive experience working with large companies and on election campaigns.
The firm had not been discouraged by the many political surveys that indicated the party would not pass the 2 percent mark needed to enter the Knesset, said Porat.
A survey Spin conducted before the election showed that pensioners nationwide would be interested in supporting a party that fought for their rights. That survey also reported that young people and undecided voters might offer Gil their support as well, said Porat.
"We realized that many people had lost trust in the politicians already running for Knesset and that many people were looking for a party that could speak their language," he said, adding that the Gil party had just the right makeup.
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