גדי יברקן
Gadi Yevarkan
Photo: Eli Segal
Gadi Yevarkan

Blue & White MK defects to Likud

Ethiopian-born lawmaker Gadi Yevarkan is offered 20th spot on party list, considered a safe seat, in March 2 election; was dismissed from his former political home earlier in the day as news emerged of his plan to move Netanyahu's party

Moran Azulay, Yuval Karni |
Updated: 01.15.20 , 17:29
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party confirmed Wednesday afternoon it has offered the 20th spot on its list of Knesset candidates - considered at present a fairly safe seat - to a defector from the Blue & White party.
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  • Ethiopian-born MK Gadi Yevarkan was dismissed from his former party's list as news broke earlier in the day that he was planning to switch to Likud.
    Blue & White leader Benny Gantz announced Yevarkan's dismissal on Twitter.
    גדי יברקן גדי יברקן
    Gadi Yevarkan
    (Photo: Eli Segal)
    "I decided, in coordination with MK Lt. Gen. [Moshe] Bogie Ya'alon, to remove MK Gadi Yevarkan from the Blue & White slate," Gantz wrote.
    Ya'alon, who is the head of Telem - one of three factions that comprise the Blue & White list - also took to Twitter to announce Yevarkan's dismissal from both Telem and Blue & White.
    "Telem Chairman MK Moshe Ya'alon announced several minutes ago to MK Gadi Yevarkan that, due to his conduct and behavior that is most indicative of his values, he is dismissed from the Telem party and will not be included on Blue & White's party slate for the 23rd Knesset," the statement read.
    ישיבת סיעה כחול לבןישיבת סיעה כחול לבן
    Moshe Ya'alon and Benny Gantz
    (Photo: Amit Shabi)
    Yevarkan, who was placed 33rd on Blue & White's candidate roster, was also set to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.
    The appeal to Yevarkan came as part of the ruling party's attempt to bolster the representation of the Ethiopian community among its ranks.
    Likud also turned to Yevarkan after the April elections, offering him to move to Likud and join the coalition so it could muster the 61-seat majority needed to form a viable parliament.
    Yevarkan declined the offer and cited Netanyahu's appeal on Twitter as a "desperate attempt" to court the Ethiopian voter.
    "Netanyahu is going to spend millions in a desperate attempt to court the Ethiopian voters who moved to Blue & White," Yevarkan tweeted.
    "Netanyahu doesn't understand one thing - the 'Ethiopians' cannot be bought with money."
    First published: 16:28 , 01.15.20
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