After weeks of wrangling and infighting, all the parties that plan to run for seats in the19th Knesset have filed the names of their candidates. As of the Thursday night 10 PM deadline for filing, 34 parties had submitted lists, and received authorization from the National Election Commission to run for office.
One party that will not be running for office at all is the Atzama'ut party, formerly headed by outgoing Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The party's new number one, Shalom Simhon, said Thursday night that he was dropping out of the party, and out of politics. After he announced he was dropping out, he informed the Commission that the party would not run. Simhon said that he was quitting out of national responsibility, because it was unfair to spend public money on a campaign that would at most yield only 2 or 3 seats.
Among the last parties to file its list was the joint Likud-Yisrael Beyteinu list. Part of the delay in filing was due to a petition by five MKs from the Likud, who had asked the court to strike down the joint list, because they had been pushed to “unrealistic spots” on the list by the interspersing of Yisrael Beyteinu MKs. The petition was rejected by the court, which said that the agreement was legal.