(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Zionist Union co-leader Tzipi Livni is prepared to forgo the rotation agreement with fellow co-leader Isaac Herzog if it will help in negotiations to form a coalition after Tuesday's election.
According to the deal which saw Livni bring her Hatnua faction into the Labor party to form the Zionist Union, she and Herzog would split the term, with each serving two years as prime minister should the party form the next coalition.
However, Livni said Monday that the rotation agreement will not be allowed to constitute a stumbling block for coalition negotiations, and in doing so, expressed a willingness to give up her potential stint as prime minister during the second half of the party's term, if Herzog succeeds in winning enough mandates to put together the next government.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Channel 2 in response to the report that Herzog and Livni were "panicking" and proving that "they can't handle the pressure."
He said that he believed the move would backfire against the Zionist Union and help the Likud in the election.
Herzog said to Channel 2 that the alliance between him and Livni was as strong as ever.
He said that Livni had repeated what she has said in the past - that she was prepared to give up the rotation if it hurt efforts to form a coalition.
Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett said that Livni's willingness to give up the rotation is a sign that Herzog's Zionist Union and Netanyahu's Likud will form a unity coalition following the election.
In such a coalition, Herzog would likely rotate the prime minister's office with Netanyahu.
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid as well said that he believes the move shows that a unity government consisting of the Zionist Union, Likud and the haredi parties is in the works.
The report came less than 12 hours before polls were set to open in elections for the 20th Knesset.