The New Right party announced on Monday afternoon that it is running independently in the upcoming elections. The announcement comes after many predictions and reports that the New Right, led by Defense Minister Naftali Bennett and MK Ayelet Shaked, was merging with the other national religious right-wing parties to form a united bloc.
“The New Right will run independently in the upcoming elections as a party of the ideological, liberal right,” the party stated. “This is the right-wing bloc’s only chance of reaching 61 seats and victory.”
The party explained that studies showed that Yamina – the merger of the New Right together with the Union of Right-Wing Parties (Bayit Yehudi and National Union) in the previous elections resulted in the right-wing bloc receiving less votes than a separate run could gain. The New Right is striving to garner additional votes from “soft-right” voters who supported Yisrael Beiteinu or Blue & White in the last election.
The statement added that a second list of right-wing parties Bayit Yehudi and National Union, headed by Ministers Rafi Peretz and Bezalel Smotrich, will run together with Otzma Yehudit, headed by Itamar Ben-Gvir. However, although Bayit Yehudi formed a merger with Otzma Yehudit last month, Smotrich and Peretz are currently still in negotiations to form a merger.
The New Right’s announcement is not surprising since Bennett, unlike Shaked, has been opposed to merging with the more religious right-wing parties since he wants to promote the New Right as a more inclusive right-wing party with a place for both secular and religious people.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)