Hatnua party leader Tzipi Livni on Tuesday said she wanted the Labor and Yesh Atid factions to join her in issuing a shared campaign message to get people out to vote as part of her efforts to form a center-left bloc ahead of the coming general elections.
“I proposed a joint campaign in which we call on people to vote for any one of the parties,” Livni said in a press release. “In my opinion it doesn’t matter as much if the vote goes to Hatnua as long as it goes to the bloc.”
As the election looms and the Likud-Beytenu list, together with right-wing parties, continues to lead the polls, Livni laid down a condition for Hatnua joining a future coalition.
“We will not become a fig leaf for an ultra-Orthodox extreme right-wing government,” she said.
The ultra-Orthodox Shas party, predicted to win 8-11 seats in the elections, could become a central coalition player in a marginal majority government.
Livni’s clarifications came the day after Labor leader Shelly Yachimovich and Yesh Atid chief Yair Lapid issued a statement blasting Livni, saying she had lied about the results of a Sunday night meeting between them. The three center-left party leaders got together to discuss combining their tactics in the face of a predicted right-wing election victory, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud-Yisrael Beytenu joint campaign.
“If there will be a high voter turnout we can win this election,” Livni asserted and added that she had assured the other two leaders that she would recommend to the president that someone from their bloc be invited to form the government.
Following a general election, the president assigns one party’s head the job of attempting to form a coalition, and each party expresses its recommendation for who should be the one to do so.
Much of the division between the three leaders is focused on whether or not they should join a Netanyahu-led coalition.
Labor leader Yachimovich has already declared that she won’t, while Lapid is in favor of keeping his options open, though he has expressed his reluctance at becoming the only center-left party to join a right-wing government.
Livni, though not ruling out joining a Likud-led coalition government, has preferred to focus on trying to block a right-wing victory.