Israel Election Updates / Yesh Atid to Announce Openly Gay Candidate

49 days to go: Israeli ambassador to U.S. reprimanded for forbidden political campaigning on behalf of Netanyahu.

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Moshe Kahlon and Tzaga Malko, January 11, 2015.Credit: Moti Milrod

Latest political summary: The Labor Party finalized the composition of its list for the Knesset election at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds last night. Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid will announce the composition of its slate for the upcoming elections today. Read full article here

Latest updates:

9:00 P.M. Former soccer star to join Habayit Hayehudi

Former soccer star Eli Ohana will run for the Knesset on the Habayit Hayehudi slate, according to sources. The move is expected to be finalized on Monday. Ohana, who now coaches the national Under-19 team and is a commentator on the Sports Channel, has long been identified with the Likud and publicly supported Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the past. Haaretz reported last week that Habayit Hayehudi chairman Naftali Bennett was seeking a candidate from the outlying areas, preferably of Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) origin. It isn’t clear what spot Ohana will occupy, since Bennett has three more slots he can assign. (Chaim Levinson)

8:15 P.M. Hadash, Arab parties agree on name for joint ticket

Hadash and Arab parties apparently agree on name for joint ticket: Wamab, which means spark in Arabic. The parties will announce their final decision on Tuesday. (Jack Khoury)

5 P.M. Yesh Atid to add openly gay candidate to Knesset list

Yesh Atid has announced that Zehorit Sorek will be added to the party's slate for the upcoming election. If she makes the Knesset, Sorek will be not only the first openly lesbian MK, but also the first openly lesbian religious MK. Sorek has been an activist in the LGBT community for many years, serving on the board of directors at Hoshen – The Israeli LGBT Education and Information Center, as well as at IGY, the organization for Israeli gay youth. Sorek has worked for Yesh Atid for the past two years, spearheading its legislation on LGBT issues.

It is still unclear which slot she will be given on Yesh Atid's Knesset list, though she will be the only openly gay candidate in the Knesset following the resignation of MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz).

4:30 P.M Tzipi Hotovely awarded 20th slot on Likud list

A district court has accepted MK Tzipi Hotovely's petition and declared that she indeed took the 20th slot on Likud's Knesset slate for the upcoming election, beating out Avi Dichter. The court ordered all recounts stopped. (Jonathan Lis)

10:15 A.M. Tzaga Malko's candidacy rejected by Central Election Committee

The candidacy of Tzaga Malko, a prominent Ethiopian activist and number three on Kulanu list, was rejected by the Central Election Committee Tuesday.

Channel 2 reported two weeks ago that Malko, a civil servant (Channel 1 is the state network), will probably not be able to run in the election, as she did not resign from her job in the Broadcasting Authority in time: A cooling-off period of 100 days is required before the election. (Ilan Lior)

9:36 A.M. Israeli ambassador to U.S. reprimanded for forbidden political campaigning on behalf of Netanyahu

Israeli Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer was reprimanded last Thursday for violating the Civil Service Commission rules and taking part in forbidden political campaigning on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in interviews he gave to the American media. Read full article here