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Shas, UTJ sign vote-sharing agreement ahead of election

The two ultra-Orthodox parties Shas and United Torah Judaism sign a surplus vote-sharing agreement and vow to continue cooperation in the next Knesset.

The deal is inked by Shas chief Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and UTJ head MK Moshe Gafni.

Vote-sharing agreements, which are widely used in Israeli elections, allow parties to ensure that extra votes that do not add up to enough for a Knesset seat are not wasted. Instead, a party is permitted to share these votes through a special agreement with another party.

Under law, the combined leftover votes go to the party closest to winning another seat, and are often sufficient to add that seat to its tally, making them potentially decisive in a close race.

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