Ramon: Lapid or Livni shoud lead new centrist party

Former Kadima council chairman says poll must be taken to see see whether public prefers that party be led by Livni or Lapid.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
July 3, 2012 20:45
1 minute read.
Former Kadima minister Haim Ramon [file photo]

Haim Ramon 390. (photo credit: Gil Cohen Magen / Reuters)

 
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A new centrist party must be formed ahead of the next election, and it must be headed by either former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni or Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, former Kadima council chairman Haim Ramon said Tuesday.

Ramon has said that a new party must be formed since he quit Kadima on May 10, following Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz’s decision to take the party into a national unity government. He revealed Tuesday that he is actively working on forming the new party and that he believes a poll must be taken to see whether the public prefers Livni or Lapid as its leader.

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“There is an alternative that must replace [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu,” Ramon said in an interview with Army Radio. “Mofaz proved that he cannot be an alternative to Netanyahu. There are too many leaders who want to be a minister in Netanyahu’s next government rather than replace him.”

Ramon called opposition leader Shelly Yechimovich an “accomplice of Netanyahu.” Just as Livni did last month, Ramon predicted that Kadima would disappear in the next election.

Livni has declined to comment on whether she is forming a new party.

Ramon would not discuss the extent of Livni’s involvement in the formation of the new party.

A source close to Mofaz noted that Ramon is a convicted sex offender and said he was in no position to preach.

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Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely, who heads the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women, said convicted sex offenders should not be tolerated in Israeli politics.

“The public is sick of the political opportunism that Ramon represents,” Hotovely said.

National Union MK Arieh Eldad, who heads the Knesset’s anti-corruption lobby, said Ramon should form a “convicts party” with former prime minister Ehud Olmert and other corrupt politicians.

Lapid said he did not see himself joining a party with Ramon, and he did not know what kind of party Ramon intends to form.

In a recent speech to Tel Aviv hi-tech executives, Lapid said he did not believe in making decisions based on polls.

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