Orthodox party drops out of election, potentially helping right

Eli Yishai’s Yachad party announced it is discontinuing its campaign, giving a possible boost to other right-wing parties.

By World Israel News Staff

Former Shas minister Eli Yishai declared on Wednesday that his Yachad party was stepping aside in the 2019 Israeli elections, endorsing the United Torah Judaism party in his exit announcement.

In the last Israeli elections in 2015, Yachad was unable to garner the requisite minimum number of votes to enter the Knesset, and polls in the run-up to Israel’s April 9 elections this year show Yishai’s party similarly missing the mark.

Previously, Yishai served as leader of the Shas party, but has since clashed with current Shas chairman Aryeh Deri, who serves as interior minister in the current government.

In response to Yishai’s announcement, the Union of Right-Wing Parties’ Betzalel Smotrich expressed hope that the development would improve his faction’s prospects at the polls next month.

“We welcome Eli Yishai’s responsible move to withdraw his candidacy and prevent loss of votes from the right-wing camp,” tweeted Smotrich. “We call upon the voters of [his party] to return home, to join us and together we will preserve the people of Israel, the land of Israel and the Torah of Israel.”