Israel concludes registration of parties for fifth election in 4 years

Israel closed the registration for political parties intending to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections.The Central Elections Committee said on Thursday in a statement that the submission of candidate lists has been concluded after being opened to individual candidates and parties for two days, resulting in 40 lists running for the elections scheduled on November 1.Less than an hour before the deadline, the Arab party of Balad announced it will run solo, splitting from the Joint List, a large alliance of Arab parties in the parliament, effectively breaking apart the alliance that has already lost the Ra’am Party which quitted over political differences in early 2021, Xinhua news agency reported.TV polls predict that Balad might not pass the electoral threshold needed to get it into parliament. Commentators on the state-owned Kan TV news said the move might mean former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bloc will get an extra seat to a total of 61 seats, according to polls.Recent polls predict that only about 12 parties would pass the electoral threshold, with prospects suggesting yet another political deadlock between a bloc of supporters of Netanyahu and a bloc calling to replace him, led by current caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid, also a leader of the centrist Yesh Atid Party, and Benny Gantz, Defence Minister and leader of the National Unity Party.