Four Arab parties seeking to reunite for coming elections
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Four Arab parties seeking to reunite for coming elections

Hadash, Ta’al, Ra’am, and Balad reportedly looking at re-forming the Joint List in an effort to win back seats lost in April vote

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Ta'al party leader MK Ahmad Tibi speaks during a discussion on a bill to dissolve the parliament, at the Knesset, in Jerusalem on May 29, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Ta'al party leader MK Ahmad Tibi speaks during a discussion on a bill to dissolve the parliament, at the Knesset, in Jerusalem on May 29, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The country’s four main Arab parties are planning to unite and re-form and run as a single slate in the coming Knesset elections, party leaders said Thursday.

Hadash, Ta’al, Ra’am, and Balad have already begun looking at reviving the Joint List with the goal of recovering seats they lost in the last election, when they had divided into two separate slates.

The 21st Knesset dissolved itself on Wednesday night, just seven weeks after the last elections on April 9. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a majority coalition in the 42 days allotted to him and decided to disband parliament rather than risk losing the premiership, setting new elections for September 17.

The Joint List, formed ahead of the 2015 elections, had divided into two slates ahead of the April 9 vote — Hadash-Ta’al and Ra’am-Balad — but won only a combined 10 seats, down from the 13 seats they secured jointly in 2015.

“We have drawn together as much as possible,” MK Ayman Odeh, who leads the Hadash party, told Army Radio Thursday. “We hope that within a week we will decide how to run.”

Hadash party leader MK Ayman Odeh speaks during a discussion on a bill to dissolve the parliament, at the Knesset, in Jerusalem on May 29, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Ta’al party leader MK Ahmad Tibi told the Arabic-language Radio Mekan that the results of last month’s Knesset elections would be the basis for establishing the Joint List and that “all the parties will benefit from setting it up afresh.”

Hadash-Ta’al won six seats in the April vote, while Ra’am-Balad only just squeezed past the electoral threshold to secure four.

Both Arab parties supported the bill to dissolve parliament, which passed its final second and third readings at midnight Wednesday by a large majority.

Shortly after the vote, Tibi told media, “We are confident that we will return with a stronger representation for the Arab public.”

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