Sparring Center-Left divided ahead of deadline
By GIL HOFFMAN
Talks between representatives of the parties are expected to continue until Thursday's 10pm deadline.
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid and former foreign
minister Tzipi Livni failed to make progress toward bringing their parties
together Wednesday on the eve of Thursday’s deadline for parties to submit their
lists of candidates to the Central Elections Committee.
representatives of the parties are expected to continue until Thursday’s 10 p.m.
deadline. But officials in all three parties expressed deep skepticism that the
negotiations would succeed.
“[Yacimovich and Lapid] invited me to join
their party, but I want to join forces in a real way, not just to get a job and
bring more mandates to a party,” Livni said at a Tel Aviv press conference.
“It’s still not too late. We can lead an alternative to the premiership in
several ways. My offer is still on the table for both of them and they know
where to find me.”
Livni revealed that in her talks with Yacimovich, she
insisted on a rotation for the premiership if their joint list won the election.
A similar demand by Livni prevented a national-unity government from being
formed when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu formed the current coalition in
“From Shelly Yacimovich I got three nos: no to an official
merger, no to adding additional people, no to a rotation,” Livni said. “From
Yair Lapid, to whom I proposed only a combined list, I got one big
Yacimovich said Wednesday that her offer to Livni to join Labor
still stands. Labor postponed by a day its central committee meeting that had
been scheduled to take place Wednesday in case a joint list was formed that
“Twenty-four hours are left to submit candidate
lists,” Yacimovich told Channel 10.
“As far as I’m concerned, until the
last minute Livni can respond to my offer and join us.”
reported on Wednesday that Labor’s decision to postpone its convention to
Thursday was made in order to give more time to ongoing discussions about the
possible formation of a Left- Center bloc.
Yacimovich said a rotation was
not an option, because Labor is a democratically elected party.
whose party already submitted its candidate list to the Central Elections
Committee, blasted Livni, saying that her image had been irrevocably harmed by
her attempts to rob the coffers of Kadima when she drafted seven MKs from her
Channel 1 reported that The Tzipi Livni Party’s top five
candidates would be Livni, former Labor leader Amram Mitzna, Israel Space Agency
head Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael, former Tel Aviv Police District Commander David Tzur
and MK Meir Sheetrit. Former minister Rabbi Michael Melchior would be eighth on
the list according to the report.
A Dialog poll broadcast Wednesday on
Channel 10 found that if elections were held now, Labor would win 20 seats, The
Tzipi Livni Party nine and Yesh Atid seven.
Their combined total was less
than the 37 seats predicted for the Likud-Yisrael Beytenu joint list.