Former Labor Party head Amram Mitzna announced on Sunday he is joining Tzipi Livni's new party Hatnuah. "You go to elections to replace a failed government," he said in a press conference, (and) "after the election of the Likud list, I would even say dangerous."

Earlier on Sunday, Kadima MK Meir Sheetrit joined his six breakaway colleagues who had announced their intention immediately upon the establishment of the new party – MKs Yoel Hasson, Rachel Adatto, Shlomo Molla, Orit Zuaretz, Majali Wahabi and Robert Tiviaev.

On his departure from Labor, Mitzna said, "In the Labor Party there were always strong ideological arguments but it always waved two flags – the diplomatic and the social. They say a person never leaves his home. But what do you do when your home, our home, leaves us?"

Mitzna and Livni did not comment on Mitzna's place on the party list, but he is widely expected to be given the number two spot on the list.

Earlier on Sunday, Kadima MK Meir Sheetrit joined his six breakaway colleagues who had announced their intention immediately upon the establishment of the new party – MKs Yoel Hasson, Rachel Adatto, Shlomo Molla, Orit Zuaretz, Majali Wahabi and Robert Tiviaev.

A source who was involved in putting together the slate has said Livni promised to give Sheetrit the fourth spot on the slate and to appoint him as a minister if the party joins the coalition. Sheetrit demanded a high spot on the list; if not, he threatened that he would not join Livni and would head the Pensioners Party instead.
Sheetrit informed Kadima chairman MK Shaul Mofaz on Sunday morning of his decision to leave the party. “At first I wanted to continue in Kadima. To my regret, this did not work out. I did not see in Kadima the cooperation I expected. Therefore I have decided to leave,” Sheetrit explained to Haaretz. “My other alternatives were to go home or to establish a new party on my own. There are a lot of difficulties entailed in establishing a new party, mainly budgetary problems.” Sheetrit refused to relate to the question of his position on the slate.

He added: “I am interested in continuing to contribute in the political system both in the economic and social realm and in the diplomatic realm. Livni’s slate is a continuation of Kadima, with the idea that a diplomatic agreement must be our top priority. Kadima expressed this in the best way and to my regret the process (former Prime Minister Ehud) Olmert led was not completed. In light of the circumstances now at the United Nations, signing an agreement with the Palestinians is even more urgent in order to ensure Israel’s continued existence. Tzipi has stuck to this idea and so have I.”

By joining Livni, the seven MKs, who constitute one quarter of the Kadima faction in the current Knesset, will bring the new slate party funding money, as well as their allotment of campaign airtime. The party will receive from the state an advance of about NIS 800,000 for each MK that has joined it, a total of about NIS 5.6 million. In addition, Hatnuah will inherit about NIS 1.5 million leftover in the treasury of the Hetz party that did not make it into the Knesset in 2006, on the infrastructure of which Livni is basing herself.