Israeli Arab Party Balad to Appeal Election Disqualification

The appeal comes following the electoral committee's decision to disqualify the party and prevent it from grouping with other Arab parties on a joint slate

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Balad chairman Sami Abu Shehadeh in the Knesset, 2021.
Balad chairman Sami Abu Shehadeh in the Knesset, 2021.Credit: Danny Shem-Tov / Knesset Spokesperson's Office

The Israeli Arab party Balad's central committee announced Friday morning that it will launch an appeal with the Supreme Court against the electoral commission's decision to disqualify the it from running in the upcoming Israeli elections.

The disqualification decision came after Balad elected to group with Hadash and Ta'al on a joint electoral slate.

Balad Chairman Sami Abu Shehadeh announced after a party meeting in Nazareth that the party is willing and able to run for the Knesset and will end up surprising everyone: Just as we refused to bow to Lapid's attempt to undermine our political partnership with other parties, we won't be swayed by Gantz's attempt to engineer the Arab leadership according to his own political needs."

The appeal will be launched by 'Adalah' a non-profit Palestinian legal center, by next Tuesday. Usually, judicial processes regarding disqualification appeals are decided swiftly, but the court is expected to sit only the next Thursday or following Sunday, as a result of Yom Kipur.

Balad never really considered not launching the appeal, and the party is determined to contest the elections and beef up its visibility within the Arab community during the campaign. It views the coming election as a plebiscite for the party's standing within Arab society, regardless of the outcome of the appeal.

Balad also says that the question of disqualification has risen several times in the past, notably in relation to the party's support for Israel becoming a state of all its citizens. The difference this time is the make up of the Supreme Court judges.

The electoral committee's decision follows a series of deliberations regarding electoral eligibility, which resulted in the disqualification of renegade lawmaker Amichai Chikli. Idit Silman, however was allowed to join the Likud's electoral slate.

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