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Sheli Faction Plans Consolidation

The several components that make up the opposition Sheli faction have announced that they will merge into a single party and scheduled a convention for next September. Sheli MKs Uri Avneri and Meir Payil said the timing of the decision reflected their belief that the Likud government is losing the support of the public. Avneri predicted that many of the 200,000 voters who cast ballots for the Democratic Movement for Change (DMC) in the 1977 elections are disenchanted and will join Sheli. The DMC itself has split into two factions, the Democratic Movement, headed by Deputy Premier Yigael Yadin which has remained in the Begin coalition and Shai which is now in the opposition. Payil said that an enlarged Sheli faction would not join any coalition but would act as a watchdog even if a Labor government is returned to power. Avneri revealed, meanwhile, that Sheli Is preparing an unofficial public trial of Agriculture Minister Ariel Sharon, the Cabinet’s most outspoken Hawk.