Herzog’s replacement as a Labor Knesset member has left the party
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Herzog’s replacement as a Labor Knesset member has left the party

Former Kadima and Hatnua lawmaker Robert Tiviaev quit Labor six months ago and has reportedly been in talks to join Yisrael Beytenu

Parliament member Robert Tiviaev of the Kadima party at a Knesset House committee on December 3, 2012. (Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)
Parliament member Robert Tiviaev of the Kadima party at a Knesset House committee on December 3, 2012. (Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)

The man set to take the place of Labor Party MK Isaac Herzog, the opposition leader who is leaving the Knesset to serve as the head of the Jewish Agency, left the party a few months ago and is no longer a member.

Robert Tiviaev, who holds the next spot on the party’s list, resigned his membership half a year ago, Channel 10 news reported and Tiviaev confirmed. He was reportedly in talks to join the coalition Yisrael Beytenu party, with which he began his much-traveled political career, having given up hope of joining the Knesset on Labor’s ticket.

Asked by Channel 10 whether it was appropriate for him to join the Knesset in a party that he no longer belongs to, Tiviaev replied, “Certainly… The party is the platform for everything.”

Tiviaev has experience in moving from one party to another. He was first elected as an MK for the Kadima party in 2009, then in 2012 jumped ship to join Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua, where he remained until he lost his seat in 2013. He went on to join Labor but failed to win a seat in the last elections.

But Tiviaev, born in Derbent, Dagestan, in what is today Russia, actually began his political career as a member of Yisrael Beytenu.

Outgoing Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky and Chairman-elect MK Isaac Herzog following Herzog’s election at the Jewish Agency Board of Governors’ meetings in Jerusalem, June 24, 2018. (Nir Kafri for The Jewish Agency for Israel/courtesy)

Opposition leader Herzog will need to give up his Knesset seat to assume office as the new leader of the Jewish Agency after he was unanimously elected to that position on Sunday.

He is expected to assume office later this summer. It is currently unclear who will replace him as leader of the opposition on August 1.

Labor leader Avi Gabbay is ineligible to serve as opposition leader because he is not currently an MK.

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