Political parties present final lists for 19th Israeli Knesset
Following a tumultuous few weeks of political shuffling, 34 parties have finalized the lists they will be running in next month's elections.
Israeli political parties submitted their final lists for the 19th Knesset on Thursday night ahead of elections on January 22.
Following a tumultuous few weeks, which saw moderate Likud members voted out of the primaries, controversial members ousted from Yisrael Beiteinu and various shuffling on the center-left, 34 parties submitted their final lists.
The Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu joint list is headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, followed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and then Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar. Hatnua is led by Tzipi Livni, followed by former Labor Party chairmen Amram Mitzna and Amir Peretz in the second and third spots.
Atzmaut, the party established by Ehud Barak, who announced that he was leaving politics last month, did not present a list before Thursday's deadline and thus won't be running in elections. The Green Movement will run with Livni's Hatnuah, but as "a separate and independent party and Knesset faction," party leader Alon Tal told Haaretz last night.
In Shas, Aryeh Deri was forced Thursday morning to back down from his demand to be named party chairman. Shas' Council of Torah Sages decided that Yishai will head Shas' list of candidates for the election, while Deri will take the second spot, followed by Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias.
Deri alluded to the recent actions of center-left parties in a news conference, saying "as you see, thank God, no one defected, no one fled, we're all here."
Deputy Finance Minister Yitzhak Cohen is fourth on Shas' list, followed by Minister Meshulam Nahari, MK Amnon Cohen, Minister Yaakov Margi, MK David Azoulay, MK Yitzhak Vaknin, MK Nissim Zeev and MK Avraham Michaeli.
Earlier Thursday, former Labor leader MK Amir Peretz abandoned his old party to join the newly formed Hatnuah. Party chair Tzipi Livni made the announcement on Thursday just ours before the registration of party lists for the January election closed.
Livni's also stated Thursday that Maj. Gen. (res.) Elazar Stern has joined Hatnuah's Knesset list. A brief statement announced that Stern supports the two-state solution, but will also have freedom to vote according to his own conscience on diplomatic matters.
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