Former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, in unsuccessful tripartite talks with Labor
head Shelly Yacimovich and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, had intended to plan
strategy for how to maximize what the three centrist parties could receive in
coalition negotiations with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, sources close to
Livni revealed Tuesday.
The late-night talks between Livni, Lapid and
Yacimovich ended before Livni had an opportunity to reveal her strategy for
coalition talks. They did not get to that point because Yacimovich ruled out
negotiating with Netanyahu at all.
But sources close to Livni said she
intended to talk about how they could bargain for advancing the issues on the
agenda of the three parties. Livni’s associates said she did not intend to
discuss what portfolios the parties would demand if they joined the coalition
together or whether she would ask for a rotation in the Prime Minister’s Office
between Netanyahu and the leaders of one of the parties.
But Livni does
intend to raise such issues in further talks with Lapid and Yacimovich following
the January 22 election, especially if the three parties together win more seats
than the joint list of Likud-Yisrael Beytenu.
"If the three parties come
to Netanyahu together after the election, it’s a whole new ballgame,” a source
close to Livni said. “We would be a force that can bargain for our agenda in
building a stable coalition with Likud and our parties of 75 MKs.”
Yoel Hasson, of The Tzipi Livni Party faction, said Livni’s goal was “to build a
united and coordinated bloc after the election to stand before Netanyahu and
prevent him from forming a right-wing extremist government with the
At a Tel Aviv press conference Tuesday morning, Livni refused
to criticize Lapid and Yacimovich, since she still wants to join forces in talks
with Netanyahu. She even urged the public to vote for any of the three parties
"If we decide that together we force a national emergency
government on Netanyahu, we can advance all of our priorities,” Livni said at
the press conference. “Our call to the public should be: vote for one of the
parties in the Center bloc. Any vote for one of our parties is another vote for
all of us.”
In an Army Radio interview, Livni denied accusations by Lapid
that she intends to quit politics if she fares poorly in the election.
will stay in politics as long as I know things need to change,” she said. “I
have a responsibility on my shoulders to fight for anyone who votes for me.”