merger was premised on the assumption that the joint list would win at least 40 Knesset seats and enjoy a higher level of governability. However, now there are those willing to admit that the move did not turn out exactly as they had planned.
"We are losing Knesset seats", Yair Shamir,
son of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir
and number four on the joint Likud-Beiteinu ticket said Monday. "We might be forced to form a coalition with a large number of parties."
Shamir, who took part in an event called "Choosing Democracy" at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya (IDC),
conceded that if the joint party will receive less Knesset seats than what current polls predict, they will be forced to expand the governing coalition.
Shamir could not put his finger on the reason for the sudden drop in the party's popularity. "I don't have a good explanation regarding the results published recently," he said.
However, Shamir reiterated Yisrael Beiteinu chairman, Avigdor Lieberman's
comments regarding the need to take the housing and interior ministries out of Shas's
"Shas is a respectable party, but I think that we need to hold the housing portfolio," he announced. "The interior ministry also needs refreshing, for years it has been held by a single party."
According to him, "If Shas will be a part of the coalition and will be willing to give up a number of 'fat cows,' then I assume we will be able to lead a positive and meaningful change for the Israeli public."
Shamir told about a plan he has drafted for the days after the election. Its main tenets are lowering the value-added-tax on produce and medicine by some 8%. "It will aid the sick and poor," he explained.
According to a survey conducted by Yedioth Ahronoth and the Dahaf Institute, Likud-Beiteinu is losing one Knesset seat a week. The poll,
published on Friday, gave the party 33 Knesset seats, two less than the list received in a poll conducted two weeks prior,
and four less than a poll conducted a month ago.
party also saw a drop in comparison to previous polls, and if elections were to be held today the party would receive 17 of the 120 Knesset seats up for grabs.
Yuval Karni is a Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent
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