The Yisrael Beiteinu party, led by Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, filed a petition on Sunday with the Central Elections Committee seeking the disqualification of the leader of the Arab Balad party from running in upcoming Israeli elections, Israeli media reported.
The Israeli right-wing party asked its members within the committee to sign the petition against Sami Abu Shehadeh, head of the Balad party. At least a third of the 34 election committee members must sign the petition for it to be approved.
Lieberman’s party asserted in a statement reported by Israeli media that Abu Shahadeh “must be outside of the Israeli Knesset.”
Netanyahu has always called to disqualify Balad, but apparently won't do so now. Why? Because if Balad doesn't run, many of its votes will go to Hadash-Ta'al, strengthening their result, making it more difficult for Bibi to form a govt. https://t.co/ylz2VvJql5
— Ron Skolnik (@Ron_Skolnik) September 18, 2022
“One who denies the existence of the State of Israel and does not recognize it as a Jewish and democratic state is not worthy of being part of (the Knesset)”, the statement read, adding that “it is fitting for him to be part of the parliament in Ramallah, that’s his place.”
The party said that the petition was submitted under Article 7A of the Basic Law of the Knesset, which states that candidates for Knesset must be disqualified if they deny the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
In response to this, Balad urged that it was “an attempt to silence the uncompromising political voice” of Abu Shehadeh.
Speaking to Israeli Army Radio, Abu Shehadeh said that he believed Liberman made a move to attract headlines as his own right-wing party hovers near the electoral threshold.
(MEMO, PC, SOCIAL)