Zionist Camp Chairman Itzhak Herzog will receive the support of the joint Arab party, which has finally decided to recommend him to the President.
Following the elections in Israel, the president meets with the heads of every faction that had made it into parliament, to ask them whom they recommend to take on the task of cobbling a new coalition givernment.
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The law does not require that the candidate represent the largest party, he or she only have to have been elected to the Knesset.
Back in October 2010, the Kadima party under Tzipi Livni’s leadership received 28 seats in the elections to become the largest faction in the Knesset. But the right-wing bloc with the religious parties comprised 65 MKs, with the Likud showing with 27 seats. Ten days after the election, President Shimon Peres instructed Benjamin Netanyahu, who had been recommended by those 65 MKs to build the next coalition. Livni and Kadima, with their 28 seats, remained in the opposition.
Some polls predicted that the United Arab List would receive as many as 15 seats this time around, compared with the 11 seats the three partners making up the list had in the last Knesset. The main reason for the forging of this new, larger Arab party, had to do with the new law instituting a blocking percentage on candidates entering the Knesset.
A party has to have 3.8 seats in order to qualify, meaning, in most cases, if you received fewer than 4 seats, you lost all your votes. The three Arab parties had traditionally hovered around the 3-4 seats, and would have been destined to disappear had they not formed their alliance.
Ironically, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, whose Knesset faction passed the new law, is himself facing elimination, with some polls showing his party failing to pass the blocking percentage it legislated.
Itzhak Herzog pointed said this morning that “these elections are a chance to decide between the path of despair and failure of Bibi and the way of change and hope which I will mark as prime minister. I need your vote to be able to form a strong, stable, socially responsible government, that will really usher in the change we all hope for.”