(January 14, 2019 / Israel Hayom) The sudden departure of Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked from Habayit Hayehudi to set up their own party continues to make waves in the right-wing camp.
The religious-Zionist National Union faction, which ran with Habayit Hayehudi under the latter’s name in the 2015 Knesset election, was scheduled to hold a snap primary on Monday evening.
Because of time constraints, primary voting will not be open to all party members. Instead, 128 members of the National Union central committee will elect the next party leader as well as lock in the party’s Knesset list, with results expected to be announced soon after the vote.
Former Habayit Hayehudi Knesset member Bezalel Smotrich and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel will be facing off for the leadership of the National Union faction, which will again be running with Habayit Hayehudi in the general election on April 9.
The coalition agreements of the 2015 election allocated the National Union faction two top 10 spots on the joint party list. The faction is now seeking five.
Each party running for the Knesset compiles a list of 120 potential Knesset members. The number of representatives from each party who actually wind up serving in the Knesset is based on the percentage of the vote the party gets in a Knesset election.
The minimum electoral threshold required to enter the Knesset is 3.25 percent of the vote, meaning that the fewest MKs a given party can have in the Knesset is four. The rules for determining Knesset lists vary from party to party, but most of the major parties allow leaders to reserve spots for specific representatives or representatives of specific sectors (women, minorities, immigrants).