Left-wing parties battle for ‘tzadi’ on ballots

Social Justice accuses Meretz and the Tzipi Livni Party of dirty politics after losing letter.

Israeli Ballot (R370) (photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli Ballot (R370)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Three left-wing parties are embroiled in a controversy over a letter their names share – tzadi.
The Social Justice Party slammed Meretz on Tuesday for reneging on an agreement to allow the former to use tzadi, in order to give the letter to The Tzipi Livni Party.
The letter tzadi is at the beginning of the name Tzipi and the word tzedek, Hebrew for “justice.”
The January 22 election will be conducted as in the past, via slips of paper dropped into ballot boxes, each with a letter or combination of letters representing one of the 34 parties registered.
Parties that have gotten into the Knesset before have the rights to the letters they used in the past. Some of the older parties, such as Labor, the Likud and Meretz, have three letters on their voting slip, and have to give permission to new parties that want to use any of those letters.
Meretz and the Social Justice Party signed an agreement in November to share the letter tzadi.
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However, after The Tzipi Livni Party was formed earlier this month, it signed an agreement with Meretz to share “spare votes” that do not make up a full Knesset seat.
On Monday, Meretz notified Social Justice that it takes back its agreement and gives the letter tzadi to Livni.
Social Justice plans to submit an appeal to the Central Elections Committee. The party pointed out that, according to law, letters go to whichever party requested them first, and that they registered with the committee last Wednesday, the day before The Tzipi Livni Party did so.
“Meretz and Tzipi Livni’s actions show that they are harming social justice,” party leader Gad Haran said. “It cannot be that Meretz allowed us to use the letter, the Central Elections Committee will allow it to change its mind later.”
According to Haran, Meretz and The Tzipi Livni Party are “worthy of condemnation” and demonstrating unclean politics.
“The letter tzadi was promised to The Tzipi Livni Party in the ‘surplus votes’ agreement,” a Meretz spokeswoman said when asked about the matter.
“Meretz hopes Livni will keep her promises and not take our tzadi to [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu’s government.”