Gideon Saar said on Sunday that his New Hope party will not enter into any coalition deal with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud.
In particular, he will not repeat the mistake made by Blue and White leader Benny Gantz: “I won’t agree to a rotation [agreement] with Netanyahu,” he Saar told Channel 12.
Polls show that if elections were hold now (they’re scheduled for March 23), he would get as many as 21 seats in the Knesset and would have a shot at forming a coalition with Likud. Yamina, Blue and White, Yesh Atid, Shas and United Torah Judaism are all considered possible allies.
Regarding, Meretz, Saar also said he thinks making a government with the left-wing party as “unlikely.”
Meanwhile, on the left, the Labor chairmanship is vacant after Amir Peretz said he’s resigning.
On Sunday, MK Merav Michaeli announced her candidacy, following a court ruling that the party must hold primaries, for which she had petitioned.
Peretz had sought to have the electoral slate decided by a convention of delegates. Six weeks ago, they voted 66% to 33% to cancel the primaries, taking that decision away from the 44,000 Labor members and giving it to the 3,800 insiders, mostly Peretz supporters, eligible to vote at the convention.
“We won. The district court accepted our petition, overturned the party leader’s attempt to cancel the primaries, and defended the right of members and party members to choose who represented them. It is now mandatory to hold primaries for the party immediately,” Michaeli said.
“I announce my candidacy for the position of chairman of the Labor Party. Because it is time to bring the truth back into politics. No to opportunism, no to pragmatism. Yes to democracy, yes to primaries among the membership.”
Labor MK Itzik Smuli is expected to declare his candidacy any day, according to The Jerusalem Post. Former prime minister and Labor leader Ehud Barak’s name is also being mentioned as a possibility.