Far-right Parties Seal Election Merger, Commit to Backing Netanyahu-led Coalition

Under the title United Right, Ayelet Shaked's Hayamin Hehadash and the Union of Right-Wing Parties also agree to negotiate jointly for membership in new government after election

Party leaders Ayelet Shaked, Naftali Bennett, Rafi Peretz and Bezalel Smotrich after reaching an agreement to join forces.
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The Hayamin Hehadash and Union of Right-Wing Parties announced Monday they would run on a joint ticket in September’s election under the name United Right, following a meeting of party leaders Ayelet Shaked, Naftali Bennett, Rafi Peretz and Bezalel Smotrich. 

Peretz already agreed a day earlier for Shaked to lead their joint party while he would take the second slot, followed by Smotrich in the third slot and Bennett in the fourth.

Some media outlets reported earlier on Monday that negotiations had reached a stalemate following disagreements over slots and a unanimous guarantee to recommend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for premier again after the election. This was eventually agreed upon by both party leaders

The parties also agreed to negotiate jointly for membership in a new governing coalition following the election. The union would take the fifth, sixth and eighth spots on their list of Knesset candidates, while Shaked and Bennett’s party would get the seventh, ninth, eleventh and twelfth slots.

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A statement released to the press said “The partners would demand legislation of a four-way Norwegian law,” to allow any four candidates named to the cabinet to resign their Knesset seats so that four more candidates on their slate could become legislators.

Shaked said “Weeks of efforts have been fruitful. We have united the right wing parties to run together and ensure that precious votes are not thrown in the dustbin. I intend to pursue efforts to unite with Otzma Yehudit and Zehut as well. We should all run as one large party.”

Smotrich tweeted an appeal to the two remaining far-right parties to “show responsibility and join in in order to avert a waste of votes and to help bring about the establishment of a (new) right-wing government.”

Shaked’s party had sought to unite with Peretz’s slate via an even division of candidates for each party, but then reneged to achieve a deal.

The extremist Otzma Yehudit party said it was not a party to the agreement nor did it have any deal with the Likud for its candidates to win slots on its list of candidates.

The Likud said there will be no more reserved spots on its slate, and sources within the party said in response to the far-right parties’ deal that “without all the right-wing parties this union is fictitious.“

“In the face of the united Arab parties the right-wing bloc is at certain risk of losing power. Bennett, Shaked and Smotrich have intentionally left five or six seats outside the right-wing bloc and they are knowingly risking the continuation of right-wing rule. It’s not too late to fix this dangerous error.”