In Joint Statement, Olmert and Livni Urge Change of Israeli Government

The former Kadima heads meet in Tel Aviv; sources close to Livni say that after meeting with Olmert, she has put off announcing her political comeback; Olmert delaying decision whether to reenter politics until U.S. elections.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni met Wednesday in Tel Aviv to discuss whether the two will run together in Israel's upcoming elections.

Olmert and Livni have yet to reach a decision, but the two released a statement at the end of their meeting, calling for a change in Israel's leadership.

"In light of Israel's deteriorated state in recent years, the government must be replaced," the statement said.

Despite the tension that exists between Olmert and Livni, officials said the meeting was held in a positive atmosphere and the two agreed to meet again.

Sources close to Livni have said that she was planning to announce within several days that she will be running in the upcoming elections, without waiting for Olmert to make his decision. Following her meeting with Olmert however, she decided to hold off on her announcement. Livni has yet to decide whether to run independently or join another centrist party such as the Labor Party or Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid.

Olmert, meanwhile, has been delaying his decision on whether to reenter politics, partly due to his desire to see the outcome of the U.S. presidential elections. Olmert wants to examine whether Barack Obama's reelection would increase his chances against Netanyahu.

A poll commissioned by Haaretz has recently found that a new centrist party formed by Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid would win more seats in the next Knesset than the Likud.

Tzipi Livni and Ehud Olmert, March. 24, 2009.Credit: Limor Edrey
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and MK Tzipi Livni (Kadima) at a government meeting in 2008.Credit: Alex Kolomoisky

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