Livni accuses Yacimovich of 'political spin'

Labor says it's leaving door open for Livni to join party; Livni claims she is the only one who can successfully challenge Netanyahu.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN, JPOST.COM STAFF
December 5, 2012 14:23
2 minute read.
Shelly Yacimovich with Tzipi Livni

Shelly, Livni 370. (photo credit: Facebook)

 
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Tzipi Livni on Wednesday slammed the Labor Party and its leader Shelly Yacimovich for employing "political spin" and trying to negotiate a merger with her party in the media.

Livni stated that the only way to negotiate was face-to-face and the only person who could successfully lead a Center bloc against Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu was she herself.

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She added that Labor was not truly interested in a merger with her party, but rather they wanted to add her as "a free agent" for electoral purposes.

Yacimovich stated Wednesday that her offer to Livni to join the party still stands, as Labor postponed it's convention scheduled to be held Wednesday in a reported attempt to give efforts to combine with Livni's party a chance.

"Twenty-four hours are left to submit candidate lists. As far as I'm concerned, until the last minute Livni can respond to my offer and join us," Yacimovich told Channel 10.

Army Radio 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 told Channel 10 Tuesday that a "rotation" by which she and Livni would alternately hold the top spot in Labor was not an option, because Labor is a democratically-elected party.

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Labor Mk Issac Herzog, who is second on the party list behind Yacimovich, told Army Radio on Wednesday that he sees a merger as unlikely, as there is no reason for a party which is running strong in polls to merge. Polls show Labor slated to get some 20 mandates in the January 22 election.

There have also been talks about Livni merging with Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid, however sources said Monday that they had not made significant progress.

"Everyone is talking to everyone but nothing is concrete,” a Livni adviser said. “Tzipi said all options for enlarging the bloc and giving a fight to Likud are still on the table.”

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert returned from the United States late Tuesday. A delegation met with him following his arrival to try to pressure him to run at the helm of Kadima, but senior officials in the party said they doubted he would do so.

Olmert is expected to hold a press conference sometime in the next 24 hours in which he will likely announce that he is not running in the election. Kadima MKs Dalia Itzik and Roni Bar-On, who had been linked with Olmert, announced Wednesday that they were not running for the 19th Knesset, likely signalling that Olmert himself would not run.

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