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Olmert and Livni Decide on Political Co-operation

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni decide to run together should they return to politics.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/18/2012, 5:43 AM

Olmert and Livni
Olmert and Livni
Israel News Photo: Flash 90

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met on Wednesday with former Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni. During the meeting, which lasted for an hour and a half, the two discussed the possibility of running together in the upcoming elections, to be held on January 22.

Olmert and Livni reportedly agreed in principle that should they decide to return to politics, they will work together and run on the same list.

The meeting came as Olmert continues to contemplate a return to politics. It took place a day after the prosecution announced that it plans to appeal the verdict and sentence in Olmert’s case. In July, Olmert was found guilty on charges of breach of trust but acquitted on more serious indictments of double-billing and receiving cash from American-Jewish businessman Moshe Talansky.

Olmert was given a relatively light sentence for his conviction. He was slapped by the court with a fine of less than $18,000 and was given a one-year suspended jail sentence. His associates told Channel 10 News that Olmert is still considering his candidacy despite the prosecution's decision to appeal.

Previous reports indicated that Olmert was considering forming a new political party with Livni and journalist turned politician Yair Lapid. Later reports said the two will likely choose not to run.

There had been speculation that a new political party headed by Olmert and Livni could defeat Netanyahu’s Likud in the election, but polls released last week found that Olmert and Livni would likely only achieve ten seats.