Hotovely: Having a Baby Took a Political Toll

January 6, 2015  

Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely is far from giving up on her Knesset seat, despite a relatively poor showing in last week’s Likud primaries. And she appears to have hopes that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will select her for the 11th spot – which is reserved for a female candidate of his choosing.

She admitted that the primaries’ results disappointed her, and explained why she did not do as well as many had expected. “There was a disconnect from the Likud rank and file while I was on maternity leave and it is clear that I paid for this in the primaries, but I would not have given it up for the world, it was worth the price,” she said. 

The current tally of votes shows her trailing former minister Avi Dichter by 55 and places her in the 26th spot – which has been considered unrealistic until now, although the most recent poll shows Likud with just one seat less than that. If she defeates Dichter – she will move to the 20th spot.

She claimed Monday morning that she has solid data that places her ahead of Dichter. “In the course of the examination that we are conducting at this moment, there is a lready a gap of 200 votes in my favor,” she told IDF Radio. “Countless mistakes were made in this setup because the results were copied at a late night hour – and things can still change.”

However, should the prime minister use his authority to appoint her to the 11th spot – which is reserved for a female candidate of his choosing – she will not refuse. “The representation of women in the first 30 spots in not respectable, and it is proper that a woman be appointed to this spot – but I am not sitting and waiting that the prime minister appoint me.”

Hotovely said Monday that she believes the 26th spot is a realistic one, in any case. Dichter said that the Likud institutions will decide the election dispute and predicted that the next Knesset will include both himself and Hotovely.

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