Balad Refuses to Sign Surplus Agreement with Hadash-Ta’al

The Arab party Balad refused to sign a surplus vote agreement on Friday with its former Joint List allies Hadash-Ta’al. Vote-sharing agreements, which are widely used in Israeli elections, allow parties to ensure that extra votes they win that don’t add up to a full Knesset seat do not go to waste. Instead, a party can transfer those votes to another party through a special agreement.

Under the law, the combined leftover votes go to the party in the agreement closest to winning another seat — and are often sufficient to add that seat to its tally, making the votes potentially decisive in a tight race.

Such deals only count if both parties pass the electoral threshold of 3.25 percent of all votes.

Hadash campaigners in Nazareth, Thursday, October 20, 2022 (Photo: Zo Haderech)

Hadash-Ta’al, which recent polls consistently show winning four Knesset seats, issued a statement Friday expressing disappointment with Balad’s refusal: “We approached Balad out of a sense of responsibility and with the intention of maintaining a positive atmosphere to help contribute to increasing the percentage of votes in Arab society, and with the recognition that the entire Arab representation in the Knesset is at stake. Balad refused despite all polls proving that they do not pass the electoral threshold,” the statement read.

According the list, Balad did not respond to their proposal. “They proved once again that narrow interests are more important to them than working together against racism, exploitation and occupation,” said Hadash.

Ahead of the upcoming election, far-right Likud signed an agreement with racist Religious Zionism, Shas signed one with United Torah Judaism, Meretz and Labor signed one, as did PM Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid and Benny Gantz’s National Unity Party.