Center-Left fails to unite; no serious contender for PM
By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
The parties on the Center-Left failed to unite by Thursday night's deadline, leaving no party in a position to seriously challenge Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud Beytenu.Labor, Yesh Atid, Kadima, and The Tzipi Livni Party will each run separately and compete for votes on the Center-Left. Polls Thursday continued to find that the four parties running separately will win less votes than Netanyahu's party.“Presenting an alternative to Netanyahu by combining parties into one list was the right thing to do,” Livni said. “I offered real partnership to [Labor leader] Shelly [Yacimovich], but she turned me down.”The closest thing to unity Thursday came when Labor MK Amir Peretz defected to Livni's party, despite repeatedly promising he would remain in Labor. Livni said Peretz proved by coming that he knew how to take unpopular steps for what he believes is right, as he did when as defense minister he insisted on the Iron Dome missile defense system.
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