Reports are beginning to surface in Israeli media that Yisrael Beiteinu party leader Avigdor Liberman has stated publicly that he would be happy to run with Ayelet Shaked if the Knesset is disbanded and a second round of elections were to be called. Such a partnership could dramatically impact the balance of power in the Knesset as it would likely garner a lot more seats for Yisrael Beiteinu.
In an interview with the public broadcaster Kan on Sunday, Liberman said: “I would be happy to run with Ayelet Shaked in the next elections.”
Having rejected Likud’s compromise on the draft bill that was accepted by the Chareidi parties, Liberman said that he planned to vote in favor of disbanding the Knesset if that vote comes to the plenum on Monday as Netanyahu has been threatening.
Shaked and Liberman have met twice in the past few weeks since the elections in which Shaked’s New Right party which she partnered with Naftali Bennett failed to get any seats.
According to the report by Kan, sources in Yisrael Beytenu said that Liberman’s ties to Shaked are one of the reasons that the party leader is unfazed by the prospect of going to the polls again so soon.
Following the speculation, Channel 13 reported that a survey conducted by a “political entity” found that if the two former ministers were to run together, their joint slate would win 10 seats in the Knesset.
The meetings were downplayed by Shaked’s office who said in a statement: “The minister did meet with Liberman a few weeks ago, but the subject of running together in an election was not discussed.”
Shaked recently decided to take a break from politics for the foreseeable future following her party’s loss in the recent April election.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)