Israel Election: Meretz Seeks to Disqualify Second Coalition Defector From Running on Likud List

The left-wing party requested the Central Elections Committee to remove Amichai Chikli from running in Israel's November election due to his being declared a defector

Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov
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Amichai Chikli
Amichai ChikliCredit: Amir Levy
Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov

Left-wing Meretz party submitted on Wednesday a request to the Central Elections Committee to disqualify Amichai Chikli, who was declared a defector by the coalition, from running on the Likud party list in the upcoming election.

The request to disqualify Chikli, who is currently ranked 14 on the Likud slate, was submitted by Meretz lawmaker Gaby Lasky and party attorney Uri Haberman. The request is based on a law which states that if a party member is deemed a defector, they are barred from linking up with an existing Knesset party in the next election.

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Former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had succeeded in forcing Chikli to resign from the Knesset after the committee charged him as a defector. Bennett intended the defector designation to bring other coalition members into line after Chikli had voted against his party's position a total of 754 times including against the formation of the coalition at its inception.

"The amendment to the Basic Law of the Knesset was enacted to prevent the buying of political influence in exchange for favors and reserving list placements. The Bibist party continues to damage the rule of law and pollute the governmental system with their party's slate reservations," Laski added.

On Monday, Meretz has submitted a request to the Central Election Committee to disqualify Idit Silman, whose defection from the Bennett-Lapid government precipitated Israel's fifth election in three years, from running on Likud's slate in the upcoming election.

Meretz called Silman's planned Knesset run "a gross violation of the law by Likud and Silman," adding that "Netanyahu continues to ignore Israeli law. On top of bribery, fraud and breach of trust we can also add damage to the integrity of elections."

Silman struck a deal with opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following a promise that he would appoint her Health Minister on a Likud slate.

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