Former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni annouced the formation of her new political party - The Tzipi Livni Party (called Hatnuah in Hebrew) - on Tuesday, which she hailed as the only ideological alternative to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government.
Livni told reporters that she only made the decision to run in the elections after former prime minister Ehud Olmert failed to declare his own candidacy.
"I entered (the race) because the political field remained empty," she said at a Tel Aviv press conference.
"The Israeli people deserve better than a life in between rounds of violence," Livni said, adding that her children pushed her to continue fighting politically. "When my son went to fight in the South, I told him I would fight in my field so he won't have to fight in his."
She added: "Netanyahu lost the election in Likud," referencing the Likud's primary elections in which right-wing candidates beat out more moderate ones. "It was Netanyahu's loss and Feiglin's victory. Tomorrow it can be Netanyahu's loss and a victory for us all."
Livni devoted a significant portion of her announcement to the diplomatic field, where she has the most experience, having played a major role in negotiations with the Palestinians under Olmert.
Attacking the Netanyahu government and the Likud's shift to the Right, Livni said, "A government that initially refused to say two states is getting one in the UN and one in Gaza," she said.
The former Likud MK and Kadima leader also emphasized her commitment to ensuring Israel's security and both its Jewish and democratic character.
Livni had delayed 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.
She did not present her candidates at Tuesday’s press conference.
Sources said she felt no need to hurry to reveal her candidates since Knesset lists do not need to be submitted to the Central Elections Committee until December 6. They added she wanted to announce her political comeback before leaving for the Saban Center Conference in Washington on Thursday.
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.
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.”