Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai says he will drop out of the March election race, after failing to agree on a merger with Labor ahead of tonight’s deadline to file party rosters.
Once projected to win some eight seats in the polls, Huldai has seen support erode over recent weeks and is now not expected to pass the threshold to enter the Knesset.
“I did my best,” he writes in a Facebook post. “Unfortunately we did not succeed.”
He says he knows that “the most responsible action on my part is to take a step back, step down and let others lead the effort on behalf of all of us to build the country back up.”
He adds: “I do not blame anyone and take full responsibility. I will continue to do all I can to replace this bad government.”
Labor leader Merav Michael says she hopes Huldai will rejoin the party, of which he was a longtime member.
“I have told him I will be happy for any advice and aid he can give. I thank him for the effort to rejuvenate and give new life to the [political] camp and urge him to continue to do so.”