Olmert to Livni: Let's Run Together
Former Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni is expected to meet on Sunday with former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and discuss with him the possibility of their running together in the upcoming Knesset elections, Channel 2 News reported on Saturday evening.
According to the report, Livni and Olmert will meet Sunday afternoon, the third meeting between the two in recent weeks.
Reports earlier Saturday indicated that Livni will announce that she is running for Knesset at the helm of a political party this week – most likely on Tuesday.
Livni will not form a new party but rather take over a non-functioning party, Hetz, which was registered several years ago by ex-Shinui minister Avraham Poraz.
According to the Channel 2 report, in light of the reports that Livni plans to run alone, Olmert asked to meet with her in order to suggest they run together.
Olmert has been contemplating a return to politics for a while, but at one point his associates said he likely will not run this time, because of his legal issues. He faces an appeal by the prosecution over the light verdict and sentence he was given by the Jerusalem District Court in July, as well as charges of bribery in the Holyland apartment project, re-zoned for construction when he was mayor of Jerusalem.
At the same time, Olmert’s associates recently indicated that the union between the Likud and Yisrael Beytenu has caused him to change his mind and consider running after all. The Netanyahu-Lieberman union, they said, reinforced Olmert’s feelings that a strong center-left bloc should be formed to run against them.
MK Danny Danon referred to Livni’s plans to return to politics on Saturday, saying, “The eternal hesitator Tzipi has missed the train and will fight for the remaining bits of the seats of the left, while the right is united behind Netanyahu. The trend leftist parties are continuing to fight in order to pass the electoral threshold.”
"Israel moved to the right, and the national camp stands united behind the leadership of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, while Tzipi, Shelly, Yair, Tibi, Barak, Galon and Mofaz are fighting over a few seats in the next opposition,” added Danon.
Labor leader Shelly Yechimovich called on Livni Saturday to join Labor instead of running independently.
"Do not split the center, join us, the largest party in the bloc, and together we’ll put an end to Netanyahu’s power,” Yechimovich wrote on her Facebook page.
“Since Livni left Kadima, I invited her, several times, to join me. The proposals I offered her were very respectful and honorable,” added Yechimovich.
"I call on Tzipi Livni to join me and the Labor party and avoid forming a new party that will take votes from the centrist parties which already exist,” said Yechimovich.