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Poll: Sa'ar Top Candidate to Head new Centrist Party

The Knesset channel Panels Research poll taken this week showed that the public's first choice to head a new centrist party would be former interior minister Gideon Sa'ar.
Abe Aron, כ"ד סיון תשע"ו 30/06/2016 18:17

צילום: יונתן זינדל פלאש 90 פלאש 90

The Knesset channel Panels Research poll taken this week showed that the public's first choice to head a new centrist party would be former interior minister Gideon Sa'ar. 500 people representing a statistic sample of the Israeli population were asked if Yair Lapid, Moshe Ya'alon, or Giden Sa'ar should lead the theoretical new party. 23% chose Sa'ar, both Lapid and Ya'alon received 18%, 24% answered none of the above and 17% said they did not know.

41% of self-defined centrists chose Lapid, 32% chose Sa'ar, 9% Ya'alon, 5% answered none of the above and 13% did not know.

Sa'ar is one of the charedi community's favorite politicians. He has developed a warm relationship with the charedi MK's over the course of his decades long political career. Sa'ar has a respectful relationship with Harav Ahraon Leib Shteinman and Harav Chaim Kanivesky, and was close to Harav Ovadia Yosef zt"l.

Sa'ar is open about his recent undertaking of Shabbos and Kashrus observance and his setting specific times for Torah learning.

Gideon Sa'ar first entered the Knesset on Likud's list in 2003 which he maintained until 2014. In both 2008 and 2012 Sa'ar won the Likud primaries for its lists going into the 18th and 19th Knesset, giving him second place on the Likud list after party leader Binyamin Netanyahu.

While in the Knesset he voted for bills to advance the public observance of Shabbos in Tel Aviv.

He was appointed Minister of Education in 2009. In 2014 he announced that although he would remain a member of the Likud he would be resigning his position in the government. The birth of a son, born to him later in life was the catalyst for Sa'ar's temporarily leaving the Knesset. He said that he was barely present during the early childhood years of his older daughters- and he intended to be there when his new son took his first steps.

Though Sa'ar is considered right wing he has the support of centrists as well. He opposed the withdrawal from the Gaza strip and criticized the deal Netanyahu made with Turkey this week.

The above mentioned poll found that a party run by Sa'ar and Lapid would win 26 seats, while Netanyahu's Likud would receive 25. If Sa'ar, Lapid and Ya'alon would run together the party would win 30 seats, compared to Likud's 24.




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