Zehut chairman and former Likud MK Moshe Feiglin met Wednesday afternoon with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to discuss offers by the Likud to secure Zehut’s agreement to drop out of the race.
The two leaders agreed on a plan to expand the availability of legal marijuana for medicinal purposes, which the Likud is expected to promote as part of an agreement with Feiglin for Zehut to drop out of the race.
In addition, the Likud has offered to cover Zehut’s roughly 3-million-shekel-debt and appoint Feiglin as a minister in the next government in exchange for Zehut’s bowing out of the election.
Feiglin said that the Likud and Zehut are “nearing an agreement in which” he would “give up on the race in exchange for a position in the government.”
“We will open the cannabis market,” Feiglin vowed.
The Zehut chairman said that the agreement would first have to pass a referendum open to all party members.
“I will bring the agreement to a vote for Zehut members to decide. An unexpected opportunity has been created – to turn what appeared to be failure into a great success.”
With less than three weeks left until the September 17th election, polls show Zehut with an average of 2% - well below the 3.25% necessary to enter the Knesset.
Netanyahu, who hopes to win sufficient backing from the next Knesset to form a narrow right-wing government without Avidgor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu, has pushed Zehut to drop out of the race, thus reducing the number of votes going to parties unlikely to clear the threshold – and increasing the chances of a right-wing majority.