Arab Joint List may recommend Gantz-led government

Ahmed Tibi of the Joint List said the party is considering recommending to President Rivlin that Gantz be allowed to form a government.

By World Israel News Staff

Ahmed Tibi, a member of the Arab Joint Party List, said that his party will never join a Blue and White party coalition. However, in a break from the past, he said his party may be willing to recommend that Blue and White be given the chance to form a government.

“We want and cannot take any part in the government or the coalition,” Tibi said in a Wednesday interview with Israel public broadcaster, Kan Reshet Bet.

But Tibi did say that the Joint List is considering the possibility of recommending Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to President Reuven Rivlin. In Israel’s system, after the elections the president chooses the candidate who is most likely to form a stable government. That candidate then has 28 days to form a government.

A recommendation from the Joint List, which unofficial results show gaining 12 or so seats, making it the third-largest party in the Knesset, could have an influence on the president’s decision.

The Joint List would make demands in return for their recommendation, Tibi says, in order to “advance what we want as a joint ticket, to influence the decision-making process and to be a significant factor in the parliament and in politics.”

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“I expect that Blue and White and Gantz will turn to us and there will be a joint meeting between Blue and White representatives and the Joint List,” he told Kan Reshet Bet. “We will make our demands heard, and we will decide amongst ourselves in a democratic fashion what to do.”

If the Arab Joint List does recommend a candidate to Rivlin, it would be a first for the Arab party.

“The Joint List will make a responsible decision on this matter, and will do what’s best for the Arab public and will be part of making change possible,” Tibi said.

“Up until now, we didn’t recommend. There could be a situation in which Gantz doesn’t turn to us and the option [to recommend] won’t be relevant. Right now they’re talking about a national unity government,” he said.