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Tzipi Livni to run in upcoming Israeli elections at head of new party

JTA

November 27, 2012 | 8:43 am

Former centrist Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni gestures during a news conference in Tel Aviv on Nov.27. Photo by REUTERS/Nir Elias

Former centrist Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni gestures during a news conference in Tel Aviv on Nov.27. Photo by REUTERS/Nir Elias

Tzipi Livni has reentered Israeli politics at the head of a new left-of-center political party.

Livni, former head of the Kadima Party, announced Monday that she would lead a new party called Hatnua, or The Movement.

"I'm here to fight for Israel, not against anything. I'm here to fight for peace, for security, for a Jewish Israel, for a democratic Israel, for a country whose citizens all have equal rights," Livni said at a news conference Monday morning in Tel Aviv.

In forming her own party, Livni turned down offers to join the leadership of two existing political parties. Yair Lapid, head of the new Yesh Atid Party, announced Sunday that he had offered Livni to be his number two, and to be a "full partner in all major decisions." Lapid had called on Livni not to further split the centrist bloc .

Labor Chairman Shelly Yachimovich had also called on Livni to join the Labor Party.

Livni has one week to present her Knesset candidate's list. It is believed that several Livni supporters from the Kadima Party will follow her to the new party. She is also talking to several high-profile public figures about joining her, Haaretz reported, including former top IDF officers Shlomo Yanai, Yitzhak Ben-Israel, and Amram Mitzna.

Livni's former political home issued a statement following her announcement: "Kadima wishes Tzipi Livni success in her new endeavor, but wonders what she will manage to achieve with only a few Knesset seats that she didn't manage to achieve with the 28 seats Kadima had over four years. This is not a politically wise move. Instead of uniting the center-left bloc, Livni decided to split it."

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