United Gantz-Lapid party to be called ‘Blue and White’; no women in top 6
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The Blue and White Top 30Alliance won't sit in Netanyahu coalition if he is indicted

United Gantz-Lapid party to be called ‘Blue and White’; no women in top 6

New centrist alliance names top 30 candidates; if bloc wins, Lapid to be foreign minister for first 2.5 years, then take over from Gantz as PM; leaders to give statement at 8 p.m.

Yesh Atid's Yair Lapid, left, and former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, right. (Flash90)
Yesh Atid's Yair Lapid, left, and former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, right. (Flash90)

The newly united slate of Benny Gantz’s Israel Resilience party and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid announced Thursday it will be called Blue and White.

Under the merger agreement, Yesh Atid candidates fill 13 of the first 30 slots, Israel Resilience gets 12, and Moshe Ya’alon’s Telem party, which merged with Israel Resilience last month, has four slots. Ex-IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi, who joined the party Wednesday night, is in the fourth spot on the list. (Full list below.)

The first four first spots on the list are thus: Gantz, Lapid, Ya’alon and Ashkenazi. Of that quartet, only Lapid is not a former head of the army.

In fifth place is Avi Nissenkorn, the head of the Histadrut labor federation, followed by Yesh Atid MK Meir Cohen.

Former news anchor Miki Haimovich. (Yanai Yechiel)

The top-ranked woman is former news anchor Miki Haimovich in the seventh spot, followed in 10th by Orna Barbivai, who was the Israeli military’s first female major general. Six other women were placed in the top thirty.

Gantz and Lapid would rotate serving as prime minister, with Gantz taking the post for the first two and a half years. Lapid will serve as foreign minister and Ya’alon will head the Defense Ministry while Gantz is prime minister — if they win the election. Lapid would then take over as prime minister from Gantz, who in turn would become defense minister. It was not clear from reports if Ya’alon would then be appointed foreign minister or receive another role.

The deal also includes a promise by Gantz that the joint faction will not join a government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if the attorney general announces he intends to indict the premier in any of three corruption cases — even if no pre-indictment hearings have yet been held, the Ynet news site reported.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is expected to announce in the coming weeks whether he plans to charge Netanyahu, who has denied wrongdoing and vowed not to step down even if indicted.

From L to R: Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, Israel Resilience leader Benny Gantz, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid and former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi on February 21, 2019. (courtesy Israel Resilience)

The leaders of the new centrist faction are set to give a joint statement to the press at 8 p.m., followed by Netanyahu half an hour later.

The announcement of the merger came just before dawn and led to calls during the day from both the right and the left for other alliances ahead of the 10 p.m. deadline when parties must submit their final lists of candidates to the Central Elections Committee

The list of Blue and White faction’s top 30 candidates for Knesset elections on April 9, 2019:

1. Benny Gantz
2. Yair Lapid
3. Moshe Ya’alon
4. Gabi Ashkenazi
5. Avi Nissenkorn
6. Meir Cohen
7. Miki Haimovitch
8. Ofer Shelach
9. Yoaz Hendel
10. Orna Barbivai
11. Michael Biton
12. Hili Tropper
13. Yael German
14. Tzvi Hauser
15. Orit Farkash Hacohen
16. Karin Elharar
17. Meirav Cohen
18. Yoel Rozbozov
19. Assaf Zamir
20. Yizhar Shai
21. Elazar Stern
22. Miki Levy
23. Omer Yankelovitch
24. Pnina Tamano-Shatta
25. Gadeer Mreeh
26. Ram Ben Barak
27. Alon Shuster
28. Yoav Seglovich
29. Ram Shefa
30. Boaz Toporovsky

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