Meretz Makes 11th-hour Push Against Livni and Hadash

The chairman of The New Movement-Meretz, Haim Oron, yesterday wrote Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni asking her to "tell the truth" on joining a coalition with Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman, "to voters to whom you present Kadima as a alternative the public that defines itself as center-left."

Opinion polls have shown many Meretz voters are considering voting for Livni.

On the party's internet site yesterday, former Mapam head Yair Tzaban asked those considering voting for Hadash instead of Meretz, a trend particularly popular among young Tel Avivians, to reconsider. Citing an anti-Meretz campaign by Hadash, Tzaban wrote, "This is not the first time that with racism and fascism on the rise, certain Communist parties decided to attack not only the extreme right, but socialist parties."

Meanwhile, the New Movement-Meretz has asked its activists working polling stations on election day to give the party their pay, which is funded by the Central Election Committee. Meretz member Yaniv Farkash, who agreed to serve on a Tel Aviv committee, was asked Saturday night at an instruction session to sign a form stating that he had freely given to the party his pay of NIS 591.

Central Election Committee chairman Justice Eliezer Rivlin last week instructed Labor to stop asking its committee members to contribute part of their pay to the party. However, the New Movement-Meretz said yesterday they were "proud we have thousands of people willing to sit on the committees as volunteers."