Yuval Zellner is the man set to replace Tzipi Livni as Kadima MK after the former party chairwoman announced on Tuesday that she was leaving the Knesset, a few weeks subsequent to losing the Kadima leadership to opponent Shaul Mofaz.
Zellner, 34, is set to leave his position as CEO of Ramat Hasharon’s economic development group and become a MK for the first time. He will be sworn in at the Knesset on Thursday, filling Kadima’s No. 28 slot.
“I’m happy about the opportunity. It’s a dream come true,” Zellner said Wednesday morning. He added that he was aware that his stint at the Knesset might be over in a few months when Israelis head to the polls, as his party is not predicted to gain enough votes to guarantee him a seat. “At the moment it doesn’t look so great for us, but we do have a chance,” he said.
Zellner, who calls himself an “authentic representative of the protest generation,” used to be affiliated with the Labor party but said he switched allegiance to Kadima in 2005 when Ariel Sharon founded the party.
“Whoever knows Shaul Mofaz knows that he’s the right person in the right place,” he told Channel 2 on Wednesday, referring to the current Kadima chairman. Zellner was active in Mofaz’s campaign during the 2008 Kadima primaries.
Recently the future MK staked another claim to fame, featuring in gossip columns thanks to his relationship with reality TV star Dafna Shahar.