Following political shakeup, opposition leader joins call for early elections

Following political shakeup, opposition leader joins call for early elections

Shelly Yachimovich says country has witnessed a pathetic ‘political circus’

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Labor party head Shelly Yachimovich (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Labor party head Shelly Yachimovich (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Opposition leader Shelly Yachimovich called for early elections on Wednesday morning, following Kadima’s decision to leave the government. She said the country had witnessed the end of a “political fiasco,” referring to the two-month-long coalition of Kadima with the Likud.

“We’re at the end of an extremely repulsive political circus,” Yachimovich said at a press conference in which she slammed the steps taken by the Kadima party in recent months. While circuses usually have entertainment value, “this circus only had contempt and moral turpitude,” she said.

The Labor Party chair called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to hold early elections and suggested November 27 as a possible date.

Her tenure as head of the opposition looks to be short-lived, though, as Shaul Mofaz, leader of the 28-member Kadima faction, seems set to take over now that his party has left the coalition.

Yachimovich said the country had witnessed new heights of political opportunism. Kadima’s joining the government two months ago was misguided from the get-go, she said, and the “situation was both pathetic and dangerous to democracy.”

There is no more Kadima party, Yachmovich stated. The “struggle for the [country’s] leadership is between Labor, headed by me, and the Likud headed by Netanyahu.” The former journalist said her party was about manifesting ideals through politics, while Netayahu looked at political moves as his end goal.

Labor will “vote against any legislation that calls for a universal draft” of the ultra-Orthodox and Arab population at the age of 18, with zero consideration toward their community’s needs, Yachimovich stated.

Addressing legislation proposed by Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman, Yachimovich said her party would not support any bill by a man who wants to set “not only the Middle East, but the country” on fire.

In calling for early elections, Yachimovich joined Meretz MK Zahava Gal-On, Kadima MK Nino Absadze, and Yair Lapid, head of the recently formed Yesh Atid party, among others.

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