Lapid: Bills held up by PM will advance after elections
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Lapid: Bills held up by PM will advance after elections

Yesh Atid head tells young supporters that the government ‘owes them an apology’ for disregarding their interests

Lazar Berman is a former breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid speaks at a conference at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem on December 11, 2014 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid speaks at a conference at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem on December 11, 2014 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid told supporters Saturday night that stalled initiatives he had championed would advance in the Knesset after the elections in March.

“Every plan that the prime minister held up will be carried out immediately after the elections, everything will return,” Lapid promised young members of his party at an event in a Tel Aviv bar, Channel 10 reported.

Earlier this month, Lapid accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of refusing to raise the minimum wage, to increase the education budget, and to allocate more money for public health, instead choosing to protect the interests of the Likud Central Committee members and supporters.

Lapid, who was finance minister in the outgoing cabinet, was fired by Netanyahu along with justice minister Tzipi Livni, on December 2. The prime minister subsequently called early elections, citing irreconcilable differences with the two key ministers, whom he also accused of sabotaging him at every turn.

On Saturday Lapid also told his supporters that the government “owes you an apology, because it has not worked for you in 20 years. Yesh Atid came into the government and decided to change the rules of the game and create a better society. We won’t stop the work that the prime minister held up when he decided to go to unnecessary elections.”

Around 200 Yesh Atid supporters attended the event at the Tailor Made bar on Allenby Street. Yesh Atid MKs Penina Tamanu-Shate, Mickey Levy, Aliza Lavie, and Boaz Toporovksy were also in attendance.

A pre-election survey published Wednesday by Haaretz predicted that a centrist list merging Yesh Atid and former Likud minister Moshe Kahlon’s new Kulanu party would garner 24 seats in the Knesset, ahead of Likud with 21, and Labor with 20.

Haaretz itself reported Tuesday that Kahlon had refused an offer by Lapid to merge their parties in a joint ticket ahead of the March 17 general election.

Lapid reportedly believes combining the two parties would boost the prospects for both in the coming election, and even give them a good shot at forming the next coalition government. Wednesday’s Haaretz poll indicates Lapid may be correct in his assertions; however, Kahlon has so far been less than willing.

Lapid’s party has also been reportedly courting Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu, once a strong ally of the Likud. The latter two parties ran on a joint ticket in the 2013 elections.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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