Center-Left Coalition Takes Hit as Deri Nixes Lapid

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) —

Shas chairman Arye Deri effectively closed the door to the possibility of joining a coalition that includes Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, according to media reports on Thursday.

Although Deri had indicated recently that he would not rule out the possibility, he clarified that it would depend on the latter’s anti-chareidi agenda.

“If Lapid says he’s willing to sit with the chareidim but without amending anything, and only if they [the chareidim] accept his way, then you can understand on your own that there’s no situation in which we can sit together,” Deri said.

However, without Shas it would be exeedingly difficult for the center-left parties to assemble the majority needed to form the next government, The Jerusalem Post said.

A Yesh Atid official said in response that the party “did not deal in political boycotts” but would also not comment on hypothetical coalition arrangements before the election. The source added that the party was not opposed to sitting with the chareidim — providing the measures passed in the previous Knesset, including the drafting yeshivah students and cutting yeshivah budgets  — are not rolled back.

Meanwhile, Yair Lapid was the target of mockery at the hands of Zionist Union candidate Tzipi Livni for his anti-corruption proposal.

According to the proposal, anyone convicted of a crime involving “moral turpitude” will never be allowed to serve as a minister or member of Knesset again, replacing the current seven-year suspension. Public figures who are summoned to a police investigation will no longer have the right to remain silent, as Labor head Isaac Herzog did in 1999. Any minister or member of Knesset who is charged by the police will be required to resign immediately.

Livni brushed aside Lapid’s clean government scheme, pointing out that Lapid himself had blocked anti-corruption reforms in the Knesset, prevented transparency in the ministerial committee on legislation, and funneling large sums of money to construction in Yehudah and Shomron while serving as Finance minister.

She said she recalled that ministers were given the last state budget close to midnight, giving them no opportunity to study it before voting.

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