Ha’Am Itanu party leader Eli Yishai told the media on Sunday 6 Teves 5774 that following elections, he will recommend Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the presidential mandate to form a coalition government.
Unlike current Shas leader Aryeh Deri, Yishai maintains an excellent relationship with the prime minister and during his tenure as Shas leader, he was known to be able to reach the prime minister as needed. In addition, Yishai’s right-wing ideology is more in line with Netanyahu’s than Deri, who leans to the political left.
Speaking with Channel 10 News, Yishai removed the element of doubt regarding his political loyalties, explaining he will point to Netanyahu and not Labor leader Yitzchak Herzog. This may be quite significant as the polls show Likud and the Labor/The Movement alignment being neck in neck. That means President Reuven Rivlin might find himself in a position to tap either candidate to attempt to form a coalition first. The recommendations of party leaders is an important component of the president’s decision-making policy.
In actuality, with Deri pulling left it would be quite pleasing for Likud and Mr. Netanyahu if Shas takes a blow in the election while Yishai and his right-wing party clear the minimum threshold and enter the 20th Knesset.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)
Given his nationalist ideology, unlike Shas/Deri, there is no way he could support the alternative. In advance, he has no bargaining power.