Lapid offers Livni number-two spot on party list

Yesh Atid leader says he has spoken with Livni, offers her second slot on Knesset list and "full partner" in all key decisions.

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid 370 (photo credit: Efrat Sa'ar)
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid 370
(photo credit: Efrat Sa'ar)
Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid announced on Sunday that he had offered former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni the No. 2 position on his party’s list for the Knesset.
Lapid, who had previously ruled out including experienced politicians on his list, said he had spoken with Livni a number of times in the last few days. He said that if she accepted the second slot she would be a full partner with him on all key decisions.
“Splitting the center bloc is not good for Israel,” Lapid wrote on Facebook. “I call on her to come, join hands and forces, and change the country together.”
Channel 2 reported that in late-night talks Saturday night, Lapid had offered Livni the position of the party’s candidate for prime minister but he refused to relinquish the top slot on the list.
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Reports in recent days have indicated that Livni would be announcing the founding of her own party, which would be likely to take away votes from Lapid as well as from the Labor Party.
Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich has also offered Livni the second slot on her list, as well as a top ministry and authority over the peace process should the party form or join the coalition.
Livni reportedly asked for a rotation in the Prime Minister’s Office, the same demand that prevented her from forming a national-unity government with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when she headed Kadima.
“Even if Livni runs independently, we will maintain impressive support,” Labor MK Isaac Herzog said. “To provide a real alternative, you need to join forces. There is no other way.”
Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On mocked her counterparts in Labor and Yesh Atid for competing over Livni.
“I didn’t offer Livni the second slot on my list because she does not fit ideologically,” she said.
Livni postponed a meeting with former prime minister Ehud Olmert that had been set for Sunday because she did not feel well and had lost her voice.
Olmert was expected to tell Livni that he intended to sit out the January 22 election, while she intended to tell him that she would run.
Olmert’s spokesman could not confirm a Channel 10 report that Olmert was considering still forming a “surprising list” by midweek.
Barring last-minute developments, Livni will announce the formation of a new party on Tuesday that would be made up of Kadima MKs and wellknown and respected public figures.
Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz’s associates revealed that he had offered Olmert the chairmanship of the party’s new selection committee that would decide its list for the next Knesset.