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Balad faction elects new leader as future of Joint List hangs in balance

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Joint List Knesset member Sami Abou Shahadeh won the leadership of the Arab nationalist Balad faction Saturday night, beating out incumbent Mtanes Shihadeh, who has led the party in the last three elections.

Abou Shahadeh won 230-159 in a vote by the faction’s central committee. According to internal party rules, Shihadeh is now ineligible to be on the party’s slate in the March election.

Abou Shahadeh entered the Knesset in October 2019 as part of the Joint List alliance of four majority-Arab parties. A resident of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, he previously served on the city’s municipal council as a Balad representative.

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His election as leader of the Balad faction comes as the Joint List faces possible dissolution ahead of March’s election. Mansour Abbas of the Ra’am party holds a press conference after a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin at the President’s Residence in........

© The Times of Israel

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