Former foreign minister Moshe Dayan formally announced today that he will head a National Renewal ticket in Israel's June 30 general elections in hopes of forming a broadbased coalition government to replace that of Likud Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
Dayan's entry in the election, which had been expected for several months, put additional pressure on the opposition Labor Party, from whom Dayan's ticket is likely to draw votes of the centrist electorate. The most recent polls still give the Labor Party a lead -- preducting 45 seats in the 120-seat parliament compared to 33 for the ruling Likud, 9 for Dayan and other factions dividing the remainder. But Labor's strength has been slipping since Dayan became a contender.
The top slots in Dayan's ticket are filled by candidates drawn from the splinter Rafi faction of the Labor Party and from the now-defunct Democratic movement for Change, which helped from the Likud coalition when Begin was elected in 1977.
The Dayan list exludes former finance minister Yigael Hurwitz, who had planned to join the ticket but was dropped in a dispute with Dayan about the party platform. Had Hurwitz, a conservative who opposed the Camp David peace treaty, stayed on Dayan's slate, it would have made it virtually impossible for the National Renewal list to join a coalition with the Labor Party.
Dayan said today he hopes his ticket will be able to exert influence on the next government, particularly in foreign policy. But he said he has set no preconditions for joining a coalition. He said his parliamentary bloc would assume an active opposition role if it does not join a coalition.
The Dayan ticket includes Labor Minister Israel Katz; former parliament member Mordechai Ben-Porat, a leader of the Sephardic Jewish community; parliament member Zalman Shoval, who opposed the Camp David treaty; and Herzl Shafir, a popular former Army general who was fired as Israel's police commissioner in a controversy over investigative techniques used in probing a kickback scandal in the Religious Affairs Ministry.