Former Foreign Minister Livni Won't Run in Upcoming Israeli Election

Just ahead of deadline for submitting election slates, Tzipi Livni says she won't run: 'The power to save Israel isn't in my hands'

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Tzipi Livni speaks at a press conference, February 18, 2021.
Tzipi Livni speaks at a press conference, February 18, 2021.Credit: Moti Milrod

Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni announced Monday that she will not be running in the March 23 election, following reports that she was in talks with Yair Lapid about joining his Yesh Atid party.

“I know Israel is important to you and that you truly believe I can save it in the next election,” she said in a video message to supporters published on social media. “Sadly, the power to save it isn’t in my hands, and that is why you won’t be seeing me in any of the slates submitted this week” to the Central Elections Committee. “We all, together, have the power,” she added.

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In December, Livni was reported to be considering joining forces with Lapid in light of a flurry of high-profile departures from Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan party.

In the 2015 election, Livni's Hatnuah party joined with Labor to run as the Zionist Union, bringing five of the party's members to the Knesset. In 2019, Avi Gabbay, then chairman of Labor, unilaterally announced that he was breaking up the Zionist Union alliance. Hatnuah did not run in the three elections since then.

Earlier Monday, former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon also said he wouldn't be running in the upcoming election. Ya'alon, a former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, ran in three elections as part of Kahol Lavan, before leaving the party after Gantz joined a coalition with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which Ya'alon refused to do.

After the government was formed, Ya'alon joined forces with another disappointed Gantz partner, Yair Lapid. The two later parted ways, and Ya'alon's Telem party has not passed the electoral threshold in any poll since.

Ya'alon's announcement came a day after former Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn, who left Kahol Lavan to join Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai's new party, informed his new ally that he had decided to "take a break from political life."

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