Israel’s former-foreign minister Tzipi Livni is set to make a decision over the coming days on whether or not to head a new party to contest January’s elections.
Livni lost a leadership election within the Kadima Party to Shaul Mofaz earlier this year and has since then taken a break from politics. There has been speculation for several weeks that she would return to the political scene alongside former-prime minister Ehud Olmert to head a centre-left bloc. However, the chances of Olmert making a comeback appear to have diminished, especially after the State Attorney’s Office decided last week to appeal his acquittal in corruption cases, leaving Livni to decide on a solo return.
Channel Two reported last night that if Livni does join the race, she would not stand as a number two in an existing party, but rather form a new party herself. A report this morning in the online edition of Maariv suggested that Manuel Trajtenberg, who led a committee to recommend economic measures following last summer’s mass protests, might join a Livni-led party.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party has added Maj. Gen. Uri Sagi, the former head of IDF Intelligence and previously commander of the Golani infantry brigade to its list of parliamentary candidates. Sagi adds security credentials to a Labour list, which includes a number of candidates with a strong socio-economic background. Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuli, two of the leading lights of last year’s summer protests recently joined Labour, as has the secretary-general of Peace Now, Yariv Oppenheimer.
Yesh Atid has also recruited new names to its list of candidates. Yesterday, party leader Yair Lapid announced that Herzliya Mayor Yael German and Dimona Mayor Meir Cohen would run for election with Yesh Atid. German is a former member of Meretz while Cohen was elected to his current role while aligned with Yisrael Beiteinu.