Tzipi Livni 370 (R).
(photo credit: Nir Elias/Reuters)
Talks between officials close to former foreign minister Tzipi Livni and Yesh
Atid leader Yair Lapid, examining the option of their running together in the
January 22 election, have not made significant progress ahead of the deadlines
for candidate list submission to the central elections committee, sources in
both parties said Monday.
Parties have until Thursday at 10 p.m. to
submit their lists at the Knesset, but new parties tend to submit their lists at
the first possible opportunity in order to be granted the earliest chance at
picking code letters that represent their party on ballots. The Knesset will
open its doors at 10 p.m. Tuesday for parties to submit their lists and make
A Livni adviser said talks have been held between former
minister Haim Ramon, who was instrumental in the formation of the Tzipi Livni
Party, and former prime minister Ariel Sharon’s former bureau chief Uri Shani,
who currently advises Lapid. But the adviser said the talks were unlikely to
“Everyone is talking to everyone but nothing is concrete,”
the adviser said. “Tzipi said all options for enlarging the bloc and giving a
fight to Likud are still on the table.”
In a sign that Lapid is not about
to make a deal with Livni, Yesh Atid signed a vote-sharing agreement Monday with
the Labor party. The agreement guarantees that extra votes beyond what is needed
for a mandate do not go to waste. In the past, Labor signed such agreements with
Meretz, but it made the deal with Lapid in order to harm Livni and to present
itself as a party that is centrist, not leftist.
The Likud is expected to
sign a vote-sharing agreement with Habayit Hayehudi, which formally approved its
merger with the religious Zionist Tekuma party Monday in Modi’in. The joint list
will be headed by Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett, followed by Tekuma
chairman Uri Ariel.