Central Elections Committee rejects bids to disqualify Ra’am

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

The Central Elections Committee votes to dismiss two petitions to disqualify the Ra’am party from running in the upcoming elections, clearing the Islamist party’s way forward to November’s ballot box.

Fourteen of the committee’s members voted against the two petitions and none for it, with the majority not present.

Choosing Life, a forum for bereaved families, and the right-wing organization Ad Kan each filed a petition to disqualify Ra’am’s election bid, alleging that the party was affiliated with organizations supporting terror.

Ra’am, the party of the Southern Branch of the Islamic Movement, had come under fire over Aid 48, a charity run by the movement. Both petitioners argued that Aid 48 channels funds to Hamas and terrorists, among other claims.

Ra’am has repeatedly denied right-wing accusations that it channels money to Hamas. Party officials have defended charitable activities by the Islamic Movement in Gaza as purely humanitarian.

Ra’am’s faction director does not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The panel is expected to vote on a petition to disqualify another Arab party, Balad, in the coming hours.

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