Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz announced this morning that they have agreed to merge their parties in a joint ticket for the Israeli election on 9 April.
If the joint party wins enough seats to lead a new coalition Government, the post of prime minister will be rotated with Gantz serving as Prime Minister for two and a half years followed by Lapid.
In a joint statement, Yesh Atid, led by Lapid, and Israel Resilience, led by Gantz, said: “Motivated by national responsibility, Benny Gantz, Yair Lapid and Moshe Yaalon have decided to form a joint list that will serve as Israel’s new governing party. The new governing party will present a new team of security and social leaders that will ensure the country’s security, and will reunite the parts of the people and heal the divided Israeli society.”
On Instagram, Benny Gantz posted a picture of him, Lapid, Yaalon and Gabi Ashkenazi, who also announced that he will join the list, with the caption “united”. Ashkenazi, Gantz and Yaalon are all former IDF Chief of Staffs. The order of the list will be Gantz, Lapid, Yaalon, Ashkenazi. Histadrut Chairman Avi Nissenkorn is fifth on the list.
The leaders will hold a press conference today to announce the formula that will merge the two party lists together, as well as the name of the new list. It has been suggested that in the event of a rotation, Lapid would get a larger share of the joint list’s Knesset seats.
The Likud said: “The choice is clear, either a left-wing government of Lapid-Gantz with the support of the Arab parties’ blocking majority, or a right-wing government headed by Netanyahu.”
A poll earlier this week for Israel’s Channel 12 news predicted that a merged party of Israel Resilience and Yesh Atid would win 32 seats, Likud 30 seats, Labour 8 seats, UTJ 7 seats, New Right 7 seats, Arab Renewal 7 seats, Shas 6 seats, The Joint (Arab) List 5 seats, Meretz 5 seats, Kulanu 4 seats, Yisrael Beitenu 4 seats, and Jewish Home 4 seats.