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Tzipi Livni expected to announce new party
By GIL HOFFMAN
27/11/2012
Less than seven months after quitting politics, former foreign minister and opposition leader set to launch comeback.
 
Less than seven months after she quit politics, former foreign minister Tzipi Livni will return to the fray Tuesday in a press conference at Tel Aviv’s Beit Sokolov.

Livni had been delaying announcing her future for weeks amid speculation that she would run with an existing party or try to form a bloc of parties on the Center-Left.

But instead she is expected to announce the formation of a new Center-Left movement called the National Responsibility Party that will run in the January 22 election.

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who met with Livni Monday night at his Tel Aviv office, is not expected to announce his political future until Wednesday. Sources said all options were still open for him.

Sources close to Livni said she would not present her candidates at Tuesday’s press conference, preferring to give a chance to efforts to unite the Center-Left.

The sources said she felt no need to hurry to reveal her candidates when Knesset lists do not need to be submitted to the Central Elections Committee until December 6, but she wanted to announce her comeback since losing her position as Kadima head to Shaul Mofaz in March, before she leaves for the Saban Center Conference in Washington on Thursday.

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Livni received bad news this week when Maj.-Gen. (res.) Shlomo Yanai turned down her offer of a top slot on the list. The respected former chairman of Teva Pharmaceuticals, who is a former OC Southern Command, could have given her party the authority of a top security figure.

The list is expected to include Israel Space Agency chairman Isaac Ben-Israel, who is also a retired majorgeneral, a professor and briefly a Kadima MK; sucker tent protest leader Boaz Nol, and former ambassador to France Danny Shek. Current Kadima MKs who will be on the list include Yoel Hasson, Shlomo Molla, Rachel Adatto, Orit Zuaretz, Majallie Whbee and Robert Tibaev.

Livni pressured Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid in recent days to combine their lists but he turned her down.

Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich pleaded with Livni Monday night not to form “another fragment of a party that will further divide the Left.”

Defense Minister Ehud Barak was also sought after by Livni. His departure from politics and the demise of his Independence Party is expected to help Livni’s party obtain more support.

“Barak contributed much to the country as a soldier, officer, minister and prime minister, and citizens of Israel owe him a lot,” Livni said.

“I hope Barak will still contribute to the realization of the Zionist vision we share of a secure, Jewish, democratic state at peace with its neighbors. Despite our many arguments, I always respected his real concern for Israel’s future and with all my heart, I wish him success in his life’s next chapter.”
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