Yair Lapid looks to the future with new party (JERUSALEM POST) By GIL HOFFMAN 04/16/12)
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Yair Lapid intends to call his new party Atid, which means future in
Hebrew, a spokeswoman for the new party said Sunday.
Lapid, the former TV journalist, intends to register the new party at
the party registrar’s office over the next few days, submitting a
list of its 100 founders. The list is expected to include people
close to Lapid and not his future Knesset candidates.
Forming a new party will limit Lapid to fund-raising no more than NIS
13.5 million ahead of the next election.
Had he chosen to revamp a defunct existing party, he would not have
faced such a limit.
“We could have run using the shell of an old party and made it easier
financially, but he decided that if we are going to preach clean
politics, we have to start with ourselves,” the spokeswoman said.
By forming the new party, Lapid preempted the so-called “Second Lapid
Bill” that passed into law in the Knesset on March 21. The new law
would have required him to report all campaign contributions of over
NIS 10,000 to the comptroller within 30 days of the bill’s passage,
had he not formed a party by then.
The bill’s sponsor, MK Yariv Levin (Likud) said that by forming a
party, Lapid was “admitting that he failed in his goal of avoiding
giving the public a report on his campaign fundraising.”
The first so-called “Lapid Bill,” which did not pass into law, would
have set a cooling-off period before journalists could enter
politics. Lapid preempted that bill when he announced that he was
quitting his job at Channel 2 to run for the next Knesset.
This will not be the first Atid Party in Israel. In November 1995,
MKs Alex Goldfarb and Esther Salmovitz broke off from a faction
called Yiud, which broke off earlier from Tzomet.
The split from the right-wing Tzomet party enabled the Oslo II
accords to pass. In a controversial move, Goldfarb received a post as
deputy minister of Construction and Housing and a Mitsubishi in
return for shifting from the Right end of the political map to the
Left. Atid did not run in the 1996 election.
National Union MK Aryeh Eldad warned Lapid that if he does not offer
more than “worn out cliches,” he would find himself “forgotten like
Goldfarb, who sold his vote for a Mitsubishi and disappeared.”
Goldfarb, who is now in the Labor Party, told The Jerusalem Post that
Lapid had not consulted with him about the name but that he had no
problem with him using it.
“I wish Yair Lapid well,” Goldfarb said. “There is room for him in
Israeli politics. We have to look to the future. We should not dwell
on the past.” (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/16/12)
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