Yisrael Beytenu defector mulling forming new party
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Yisrael Beytenu defector mulling forming new party

Forced by Knesset rules to join new faction or sit out next elections, Orly Levy-Abekasis says she'd like to stick around and tackle socioconomic and civic issues

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

MK Orly Levy-Abekasis in the Knesset on July 27, 2015 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
MK Orly Levy-Abekasis in the Knesset on July 27, 2015 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Months after leaving the Yisrael Beytenu party over its decision to join the governing coalition, MK Orly Levy-Abekasis says she is considering establishing a new political faction to run in the next parliamentary elections.

Levy-Abekasis currently serves as an independent MK in the oppostion after resigning from Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu in May 2016, charging that the party had not placed any emphasis on advancing social causes as it negotiated to join the coalition.

When pressed on her future political intentions, Levy-Abekasis told Israel Radio, “I don’t think I’d surprise anyone by saying my preference is to establish something new.”

According to Knesset protocol, Levy-Abekasis’s decision to remain independent after she left Yisrael Beytenu prohibits her from running on an already-existing list in the next elections.

MK Orly Levy-Abekasis addresses a Knesset panel on the state budget on July 12, 2016. (Screen capture/YouTube)
MK Orly Levy-Abekasis addresses a Knesset panel on the state budget on July 12, 2016. (Screen capture/YouTube)

Therefore, if she wishes to run, she can only start her own party or join a different faction that is forming.

While Knesset elections have yet to be scheduled, the independent MK said she “unequivocally” has plans to stick around.

Levy-Abekasis further specified that she is looking to establish a party that will focus on civic as well as socioeconomic issues.

The lawmaker highlighted the growing pension crisis in Israel as an issue that she’d like to address if her new party were to come into fruition.

When asked whether this new bloc would include known figures in Israeli politics, Levy-Abekasis said, “I really think we need to bring something new, with a new message… that they won’t place us as [being] right or left.”

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