Tel Aviv Mayor Announces New Party Running in Upcoming Israeli Election

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai speaks at a conference in 2019.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai speaks at a conference in 2019.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai announced on Tuesday the formation of his new party that will run in the upcoming March election, which is being joined by Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn following his departure from Kahol Lavan.

"We will not get used to a prime minister under indictments," Huldai said at a press conference. "We will not get used to a constant threat to the system of law enforcement. I have decided that I can no longer stand on the sidelines."

Huldai said the party's principles include preserving the country's Jewish majority, ensuring Israel's security, building emergency rooms in the so-called periphery, and a broad coalition.  

Nissenkorn will be in second place on the party's election roster, with him and Huldai jointly selecting the remainder of the slate. Defense Minister Benny Gantz demanded Nissenkorn's resignation earlier Tuesday after news of his exit from Kahol Lavan.

Huldai is not expected to resign the mayorship or give up his office in city hall, something that has upset a number of sources in the municipality, who say that lately Huldai has mostly been thinking about the race for the Knesset.

Closed-door talks suggested that he would resign only if he receives a senior cabinet position. Assuming he gets the job he wants, he will resign and one of his two deputies will temporarily take over the role, and a special election for mayor will be held 60 days later.

The new mayor would remain in his role until the next municipal election, in 2023. Huldai has served as mayor of Tel Aviv since 1998. 

Meanwhile, Gantz, in a speech aired before Huldai's annoucement, said an an alliance against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be formed after the election, and that Kahol Lavan, led by himself, will be a leading force in it.

Earlier this week, Lawmaker Ofer Shelah announced on Thursday he is leaving Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party, which he helped form, to start a new one which will run in the election.

About two months ago, Shelah declared that he had asked Lapid to hold primaries for the party leadership, and stated that he intended to run in them.