Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel SmotrichFlash 90

The joint list of the Religious Zionist Party, Otzma Yehudit, and Noam has signed a surplus vote agreement with the Likud Wednesday for next month’s election.

Under the Israeli electoral system, parties are permitted to sign a vote sharing deal with one other party each election. In this arrangement, if both parties cross the 3.25% electoral threshold, and one of the two parties is just short of the number of votes needed to receive an additional seat in the Knesset, that party receives the surplus votes from its partner – that is, the votes above and beyond those needed for the last seat the second party won go to the boosting the first party to an extra seat.

As part of the deal, the Likud has promised to Religious Zionist Party chairman MK Bezalel Smotrich that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will form a right-wing government which will include the Religious Zionist Party. That agreement does not include Otzma Yehudit or Noam, who are only part of a technical bloc with the Religious Zionist Party, and are expected to split off from the Religious Zionist Party shortly after the election.

In addition, the Likud vowed that the next government will strengthen Jewish settlement across all of the Land of Israel, promote Jewish identity in Israel, and advance the economy and welfare of Israeli society.

“As we have been saying all along, alongside the efforts to combat the coronavirus crisis, we will not permit the formation of a center-left government or abandon our Religious Zionist and right-wing values in the coming years,” a spokesperson for the Religious Zionist Party said Wednesday morning.

“We will do everything to ensure the formation of a right-wing government in Israel.”

Earlier this week, the Blue and White party signed a similar vote surplus deal with the New Economic Party, following the signing of a deal between Yesh Atid and Yisrael Beytenu, and a similar deal between Yamina and the New Hope party.