UTJ, Shas Sign Vote Sharing Agreement As Elections Loom

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Israel’s ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism and Shas parties concluded a vote-sharing agreement on Tuesday and pledged to continue working together in the next Knesset “with full cooperation.”

The deal was signed by Shas leader Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and UTJ head Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman.

Vote-sharing agreements are common in Israeli politics and a way that parties can pool surplus votes (i.e., votes that don’t add up to a full Knesset seat) to squeeze one more Knesset seat out of the “leftover” ballots.

For the Sept. 17 elections, the Likud has a vote-sharing agreement with Yamina; Blue and White has one with Yisrael Beiteinu; and the Labor-Gesher alliance will share votes with the Democratic Union.

Shas and UTJ are each predicted to win seven to eight seats in the election, according to recent polls.




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