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Hours before deadline, Joint List faces fresh tensions over division of electoral list

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

Joint List MKs celebrate after a Knesset vote rejected an extension of the Palestinian family reunification law, in Jerusalem, July 6, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Joint List MKs celebrate after a Knesset vote rejected an extension of the Palestinian family reunification law, in Jerusalem, July 6, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A crisis is brewing in the majority-Arab Joint List, mere hours before the deadline to submit final candidate lists for November’s election.

The Joint List’s three constituent parties only came to an agreement for a unified run earlier this week, after being unable to resolve a debate on where to place representatives from each faction on the slate.

The Palestinian nationalist party Balad is threatening to break up the alliance over the terms of rotating the sixth spot on the Joint List.

Balad’s single sitting lawmaker and leader Sami Abou Shehadeh has pushed to increase the party’s influence within the Joint List, among waning support from the Arab street.

In addition to Abou Shehadeh in the third slot, Balad has the first MK in rotation in the sixth spot.

Balad wants to only rotate the seat with Ta’al, rather than decreasing the time to a third of the candidacy by also adding Hadash into the rotation.

According to the terms of the current agreement, Hadash has three seats in the first six, Ta’al was reduced to one, and Balad has one plus the first run at the sixth spot.

If Balad runs independently, it is not expected to cross the electoral threshold.

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