Ex-Israeli justice minister Shaked to head New Right party

JERUSALEM (AP) — Former Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has assumed the leadership of her right-wing nationalist party ahead of September’s unprecedented repeat elections. The New Right party had failed to garner enough votes in April to win seats in parliament, but announced Sunday it’s running again.

Party co-founder Naftali Bennett says he’s stepping aside for Shaked. She says she wants to unify religious nationalist parties under her leadership to form a “significant power” in the next government.

Both Bennett and Shaked were ministers in the previous government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was unable to muster a governing coalition in April’s vote.

The two former ministers had split from their religious-nationalist Jewish Home party and sought greater power by appealing to new secular voters, but the maneuver backfired.

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