Tzipi Livni to Announce Knesset Run

November 27, 2012  

Former Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni announced on Monday evening that she will hold a press conference on Tuesday morning.

Livni is expected to announce at the press conference that she is running for the Knesset at the helm of a new party.

On Saturday it was speculated that Livni would take over a non-functioning party, Hetz, which was registered several years ago by ex-Shinui minister Avraham Poraz.

Leftist pundits are unanimous in estimating that Livni’s party will further split the already fractured left wing in the next election. Polls project that Livni’s party will receive as many as 10 seats, and according to a Maariv poll it is expected to take votes away from Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid (Future), Labor and Kadima.

Livni met with former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday evening and informed him of her decision. Olmert has been contemplating a return to politics for a while, but at one point his associates said he likely will not run this time, because of his legal issues. He faces an appeal by the prosecution over the light verdict and sentence he was given by the Jerusalem District Court in July, as well as charges of bribery in the Holyland apartment project, re-zoned for construction when he was mayor of Jerusalem.

Lapid announced on his Facebook page Sunday that he has asked Livni to be in the number two spot in his party’s Knesset list.

“In the past few days I have had quite a few conversations with Tzipi Livni,” Lapid wrote. “She received an offer to be Number Two on the Yesh Atid list and to be a full partner in all of the important decisions. Splitting the centrist bloc is not good for Israel and I am calling on her to come, join hands and strength, and change the country together.”

Labor leader Shelly Yechimovich has also asked Livni to join her list. “I call on Tzipi Livni to join me and the Labor party and avoid forming a new party that will take votes from the centrist parties which already exist,” said Yechimovich.

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