Livni Gives Up Rotation Deal with Herzog

Claiming it could affect Herzog's chances of forming a government, his co-chair gives up rotation deal that brought them together.

Yishai Karov, Cynthia Blank ,

Yitzhak Herzog, Tzipi Livni
Yitzhak Herzog, Tzipi Livni
Flash 90

MK Tzipi Livni announced Monday that she has given up the rotation deal for prime minister she shared with Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog, which had been a key condition of Labor and Hatnua's merging. 

According to Livni, maintaining the rotation would constitute an obstacle to Herzog forming the next government. She stressed that the most important thing was to replace Binyamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister. 

Over the weekend, Herzog and Livni dropped hints that they were ready to waive the rotation deal. 

"Three months ago we began a campaign for unnecessary elections when Netanyahu dissolved his own government," Livni said during a cultural Shabbat event this past Saturday. "So we went to the public and said what's the meaning of the partnership we built - a partnership of equals."

Livni stressed that despite criticism from the press, the public actually supported the idea of a rotation.

"Hundreds of thousands of people thought it was a good thing," the former Justice Minister claimed. "With that we're going to win next week."

"Even if we don't receive 61 mandates, I'm sure that we have invested in the relationship we built, that the two of us together, and each of us separately, will apply all that we promised."

"That is how we are going to replace Netanyahu and how we will build a government that will allow our partners to join us," she stressed.

The rotation deal was hailed by the two party leaders, but received a far less enthusiastic reception from many rank-and-file Labor party members. Prior to merging with Labor, Livni's Hatnua party was doing so poorly in the polls it was not expected to pass the electoral threshold, and many Labor members were astonished at the ease with which she was catapulted to the top of the joint "Zionist Union" list.

Livni is also viewed with suspicion by many, who note she is something of a political chameleon; formerly a staunch Likudnik, she jumped ship with Ariel Sharon to Kadima before breaking off to found her own leftist party, Hatnua.