Rebel coalition lawmaker Mazen Ghanaim (Ra’am) announces that he will not run in the upcoming Knesset election.
The decision was expected because Ghanaim plans to run for mayor of his town of Sakhnin.
“I will not run in the upcoming Knesset elections. This is a decision I made a long time ago, and I do not regret not resigning earlier,” he says, referring to calls for him to step down by coalition members who were furious over Ghanaim’s several votes against government-backed legislation in recent months.
Ghanaim was said to have been essential in securing Ra’am’s entry into the Knesset last election, thanks to his whipping of the vote in Sakhnin where the Islamist party received nearly 10,000 ballots. However, Ghanaim was not a natural fit in the party, having previously been a member of the secular, nationalist Balad faction.