Livni: We must restore public certainty

FM expects Kadima to back bill dispersing Knesset; Barak: Labor will fight Right's "piggish capitalism."

October 27, 2008 07:28
3 minute read.
Livni: We must restore public certainty

livni at presidents house 224.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi )


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Kadima leader Tzipi Livni told Kadima faction members that she expected them to back the bill for dispersing the Knesset so that early elections can be held as soon as possible. "It's important that elections are held speedily in order to restore the public feeling of certainty and stability," she said. "For many long months, the Israeli people have been going through a period of uncertainty and so the election process must be as quick as possible." "We have elections, now we must advance them." she continued. Following polls which put Kadima in front of its rivals, Livni stressed that the only way in which Kadima "can fulfill its great potential" was through unity. "We all woke up this morning to flattering polls, but in order to translate this into reality, we need a strong and unified Kadima," she said. "The importance of Kadima is in its representation of a centrist ideology. Therefore, it can build a coalition with different components and factions in accordance with its outlook," she said. Kadima faction head Yoel Hasson filed the motion to dissolve the Knesset, which would lead to elections in 90 days. Hasson submitted the motion in coordination with Livni, saying that the goal was to hold elections quickly and that he had no doubt Kadima would win. He urged all lawmakers who had been calling for elections to vote in favor of his bill. Meanwhile, despite polls projecting his party would win only 11 seats in the next Knesset, a defiant Labor chairman Ehud Barak asserted that his party would fight against "the piggish capitalism of the Right." Speaking at a Labor faction meeting, Barak said Labor would "separate from other factions, [in the wake of] the economic tidal wave suddenly sweeping the world." "We believe in massive investments in infrastructure, in research and development in education, in the lower echelons of the defense establishment, and in willingness to bolster the financial sphere if and when it's needed." Barak also praised Labor's "clear requests" in the failed coalition talks with Kadima, and hailed his party's "verity in discussing regional order," a reference to his insistence on involvement in negotiations with neighboring Syria. Earlier, Barak told Israel Radio that the polls were "just a snapshot of a passing moment and I recommend everybody not to be overly impressed by them. Who knows what will happen in three or four months?" "We believe that Israeli citizens will know how to tell the difference on election day between a passing moment and true leadership," he continued. "I stand at the head of a rooted, ethical party, which founded the state. We leave it to all of the listeners to do the math regarding Kadima and its three years in existence, and what it did for the country. We have the best team." The polls were published a day after Livni handed back the mandate Peres gave her last month to form a government, and also showed Kadima with a small edge over Likud. A poll by the Dahaf Research Institute showed Kadima winning 29 of the Knesset's 120 seats and Likud taking 26. A TNS Teleseker survey gives Kadima 31 seats to Likud's 29. The Dahaf poll of 500 people had a margin of error of 4.5 percent. The TNS survey of more than 900 people put the maximum margin of error at two parliamentary seats. Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On on Monday accused opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu of working to the detriment of the economy by preventing Shas from joining a Livni-led coalition. "Binyamin Netanyahu has succeeded politically, but as a public servant he should have acted for the country," Bar-On told Army Radio. "This may have been his job as leader of the opposition, but he has caused immense damage to the economy." Bar-On called for the establishment of a Kadima-Labor coalition immediately after the elections in order to build a stable government. Nevertheless, he dismissed calls for unifying the two parties. "A broad, national and professional coalition must be built in order to safeguard the economy," said the finance minister, who called for the elections to be held in 60 days.

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