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Meretz, Labor parties sign surplus-vote agreement

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

File: Meretz leader Zehava Galon, left, speaks to thousands of Israeli Left wing activists during a rally in Tel-Aviv on May 27, 2017; Labor leader Merav Michaeli attends a conference in Rishon Lezion on July 19, 2022. (Gili Yaari/Flash90); (Flash90)
File: Meretz leader Zehava Galon, left, speaks to thousands of Israeli Left wing activists during a rally in Tel-Aviv on May 27, 2017; Labor leader Merav Michaeli attends a conference in Rishon Lezion on July 19, 2022. (Gili Yaari/Flash90); (Flash90)

Meretz and the Labor party sign a surplus-vote agreement, a common practice among politically aligned parties in the run-up to elections.

Meretz Secretary General Tomer Resnick says the agreement will help the two parties form a government under Yesh Atid leader Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

“Meretz will be there all the way, as a strong left wing in the ‘change government’ led by Lapid,” Resnick says, adding that “together we will establish a responsible government with our partners” and leave Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right partner Itamar Ben Gvir in the opposition.

The center-left Labor party says the agreement will strengthen the parties of what it calls the “democratic bloc,” adding that the last election’s surplus votes agreement delivered an additional seat to Meretz.

According to surplus-vote agreements — which need to be finalized with the Central Elections Committee by October 21 — the party that is closest to an additional Knesset seat can sweep surplus votes from its agreement partner and use them to complete the numbers necessary for the additional seat.

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