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Israel's left unite to beat Netanyahu in upcoming elections

Netanyahu has been charged with corruption [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 January, 2020

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Israel's left wing parties are uniting to beat incumbent prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel's left-wing Meretz and Labor-Gesher parties said Monday they had joined forces ahead of 2 March elections, to boost their chances against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing base.

Israel's political scene is in turmoil ahead of the third national vote in less than a year after Netanyahu and his centrist rival Benny Gantz were both unable to form a coalition following September polls.

With Israel's two major political blocs almost neck-and-neck, smaller parties and coalitions could emerge as potential kingmakers after the upcoming elections.

The new left-wing joint list called "Emet" - "truth" in Hebrew - was agreed by Labor-Gesher leader Amir Peretz and Meretz head Nitzan Horowitz, who want to combine forces against the prime minister's Likud party.

"Peretz and Horowitz stressed the message of union and hope of political change which will be at the social heart and the political direction of the next government after the end of the Netanyahu era," they said in a joint statement.

Labor-Gesher and Meretz won six and five seats respectively in September in the 120-seat Knesset and must clinch at least 3.25 percent of total votes cast in order to enter the legislature after the March polls.

Netanyahu is Israel's longest-serving leader and has vowed to continue his premiership despite being charged in three separate corruption cases.

He has sought parliamentary immunity, but even if he faces court he does not have to step down until all avenues of appeal have been exhausted.


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