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Shaked calls for right-wing merger

New Right leader Ayelet Shaked has said the small right-wing parties should merge into one party for the 17 September election.

The former Justice Minister, who recently announced her return to politics, said yesterday: “Unity on the right is the order of the day. Establishing a right bloc is an urgent matter, a kind of large Republican Party with a broad range of views to the right of Likud. The public won’t forgive those who don’t allow such unity.”

No agreement has been reached between the New Right and the United Right party, led by Rabbi Rafi Peretz. Individuals involved in the negotiations claimed yesterday that both parties have decided to leave open the question of who would lead the unified list until the end of the talks. There is also disagreement around the number of slots that each party will receive in the list.

Peretz said yesterday: “We are conducting very extensive talks with all the partners of the wide-ranging Union Right party. I met with Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett and I am trying to meet with everyone so that we can bring all the forces together and have the entire religious Zionist camp join together as one large constituency.”

Ehud Barak yesterday called for more mergers on the centre-left. After the announcement of the Barak, Meretz and Stav Shaffir merger into the new Democratic Union, Barak said: “This is a first step on the way to more mergers.”

Discussing the merger between Labour and Gesher, Barak said that Amir Peretz had: “Founded a quasi-social-welfare niche party, but how different is it from the social principles of MKs like Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuli” He added: “I will be very happy if Amir fails in the [Labour Party] convention next Wednesday. With him there’s nothing left for us to talk about, but there’s still hope that his party will force him to come to us.”

Five separate polls were published yesterday by different news channels. BICOM’s poll of polls projects that the Likud would win 30 seats, Blue and White 28 seats, the Arab Joint List 11 seats, Yisrael Beitenu 9 seats, Democratic Union 9 seats, New Right 8 seats, Shas 7 seats, UTJ 7 seats, Labour-Gesher 6 seats, and Untied Right 5 seats. This would give the right-wing bloc 57 seats and opposition 54 seats, with Yisrael Beitenu, which is calling for a national unity government, still in the position of kingmaker.