Yair Lapid to Call All the Shots in New Party, Charter Shows

Charter of the Yesh Atid party states that its chairman will decide who will be on the party's Knesset list, and in what place.

Political newcomer Yair Lapid will make all important decisions in his new party, according to the charter he submitted to the Registrar of Political Parties yesterday.

The charter, whose contents were reported last night on Channel 2 news, states that the chairman of the new party, Yesh Atid, will decide who will be on the party's Knesset list and in what place.

Alon Ron

The charter, which had to be submitted to the registrar as part of the process of creating a new party, also allows a quarter of the list to be made up of people who are not members of the party.

Lapid's plan was roundly criticized by other politicians for perpetuating inequality and for a lack of constitutionality.

The charter ensures that Lapid will remain party chairman for the next Knesset and the one after that, and that he cannot be removed from office during that time.

After the elections, the party chairman will also decide whether or not to join the coalition or conduct negotiations to that end. He will also appoint the ministers and deputy ministers allocated to Yesh Atid if it joins the coalition.

The charter allows the chairman to appoint all of its officers.

Lapid will be chairman of the party's leadership body as well as party chairman and in any case of a dispute his opinion will prevail.

Yesh Atid's election committee will manage the election process for the members of its central committee, and its decisions will be made unanimously. If the election committee cannot come to a unanimous decision, the party chairman's opinion will prevail.

New members will only be accepted if they have not been members of another party for the preceding six months, although Lapid can override this clause.

No one who has committed a crime involving moral turpitude or who has been in prison will be allowed to join the party.

Among the 100 founding members of Yesh Atid are Lapid's mother, Shulamit, his wife Lihi and his son Yoav. Also on the list is strategic adviser Uri Shani; Elinor Milchan, the daughter of one of the owners of Channel 10, Arnon Milchan; musician Tamir Harpaz; businessman Kobi Moisa; poet Ronny Someck; judoka Yoel Rezvozov; and Dr. Ruth Calderon, Talmud scholar and founder of a program for pluralistic Jewish learning. Lapid's personal trainer and his makeup artist are also founding members of the party.

Uri Shani is expected to be chosen Lapid's political adviser and, as such, a key figure in his election campaign. Yoram Baumann of the ad agency Baumann Ber Rivnay confirmed yesterday that he would be Lapid's campaign manager.

Earlier this week, Lapid presented the plank in his platform regarding service in the army to his first rally of supporters, at Tel Aviv University.

The main point in the program - designed according to the doctrine of the former head of the Israel Defense Forces personnel directorate, Maj. Gen. Elazar Stern and journalist Ofer Shelah - is that ultra-Orthodox men will receive a five-year exemption during which they can work and do not necessarily have to be enrolled in a yeshiva.