Liberman tries to block anti-haredi mayor from registering party

Liberman's petition claims that Ron Kobi's new party, The Secular Right, will confuse voters and cause damage to Yisrael Beyteinu.

Sara Rubenstein,

Liberman
Liberman
Flash 90

The party of Avigdor Liberman, Yisrael Beyteinu, submitted a petition against the newly formed party of anti-haredi mayor of Tiberias, Ron Kobi, to the Registrar of Political Parties on Thursday, according to a Maariv report.

Kobi registered his party, The Secular Right, about two weeks ago, and presented his party as being an alternative to Yisrael Beyteinu in opposing religion and haredi influence.

Yisrael Beyteinu's petition stated, "The Secular Right is not a party as defined in the Parties Law of 1992. There is a basis for the opinion that the party which seeks to form under the name 'The Secular Right' is nothing but a straw party that was established at the request of an interested party in order to detract votes from Yisrael Beyteinu. The head of the party, Mr. Ron Kobi, has already announced the party's intention to run in the elections, but all the indications show that the motivation to form a party is not to advance the goals set out in the request, and the party has no real desire to win seats and to represent the public in the Knesset."

The petition claimed that the billboards and other means of advertisement that Kobi has spread throughout the country to publicize his new party will confuse voters and cause damage to Yisrael Beyteinu.

"Liberman and his supporters are afraid of Ron Kobi and The Secular Right which is taking mandates from them - so they run to petition against the party with the party registrar," Kobi responded on his Twitter account to the petition. "Petty? No! Cowardly? Yes, and very much so."


"Liberman, who is well aware of the power of The Secular Right led by Ron Kobi, has decided to try to torpedo the establishment of the party out of panic and fear. Like we said: Liberman is a 'cardboard tiger,' who is entirely coordinated with Aryeh Deri, including his anti-haredi slant. We will win four to six seats and replace Deri in the Interior Ministry. The public is fed up with the haredi coercion in the Knesset."

Meanwhile, time has almost run out for Kobi, who still has not approved a budget for Tiberias since he became mayor in November 2018. The Tiberias city council rejected his municipal budget proposal for 2019 three times in a row about a week ago. The Interior Ministry had informed Kobi that if he didn't pass a budget by June 30, the city council would be dispersed and Kobi's tenure as mayor would end. However, following the failed attempt, the Interior Ministry granted Kobi a two-week extension to try to pass a budget for the fourth time.




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