MK Daniel Ben-Simon (Labor) called Saturday on the leaders of the Center-Left parties to unite around one candidate for prime minister before January’s elections.

“I cannot imagine that, on an issue so central and crucial, we cannot reach an agreement on the candidate to lead the Center-Left,” Ben-Simon said, speaking at a cultural event at the South Sharon Regional Council headquarters.

“The public expects to see us act for the greater good, and we shall stand by this expectation,” he added.

As for the speculation that Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon (Likud) may head his own party, Ben- Simon said: “Kahlon is a symptom of the anti-social policies that spread in the Likud leadership under Binyamin Netanyahu.”

He added: “The departure of such an icon from the Likud symbolizes the profound crisis of a party losing its way. Now it is clearer than ever that the long reign of the Likud is soon to be over – whether Kahlon establishes a new party or not.”

Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-on has also called on the Center parties to form a united front to “protect democracy” from the newly united Likud-Yisrael Beytenu electoral list.


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“Leaders of Center-Left parties should pledge to Israeli citizens that they will join hands and stop the creation of the ‘Biberman’ party, which poses a real threat to the democracy and future of Israel,” Gal-on said.

A new Netanyahu-Liberman government, she said, would open war on two fronts: “One on Iran and another on democracy.”

Therefore, Gal-on continued, the coming election is about fighting for civil rights and the nature of Israeli democracy. “Yesterday, that was turned into the central election issue,” she said.

A recent poll conducted for Israel Radio reported that Labor party chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich would beat all possible Center-Left leadership rivals by a large margin.

The poll put Yacimovich far ahead of former prime minister Ehud Olmert, former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni, Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid.

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