Mofaz plans to woo Livni to stay in Kadima (JERUSALEM POST) By GIL HOFFMAN 03/29/12)
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New Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz intends to send messengers soon to his
predecessor in the post, MK Tzipi Livni, to persuade her to remain in
politics and in the party.
Mofaz’s associates said he recognized the electoral value Livni has
in the general public even after his trouncing of her in Tuesday’s
primary. They said Mofaz would be willing to grant her a special role
in decision-making in the party and reserve the second slot on
Kadima’s Knesset list for her as she did for him in the last general
election in 2009.
But sources close to Livni said it was very unlikely that she would
accept Mofaz’s offer. They described her as fed up with politics and
ready to leave, at least temporarily.
Livni remained at her Tel Aviv home Wednesday, speaking to family and
close friends but has yet to decide her political future. She briefly
addressed reporters Tuesday night to inform them that she had
conceded to Mofaz but she refused to answer questions.
“She is feeling a lot of pain right now,” said Kadima House Committee
chairman Tzahi Hanegbi, who spoke to her Wednesday. “We need to give
her time to make up her mind.”
In case he does not succeed in wooing Livni, Mofaz intends to bring
back into the party Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center founder Uriel
Reichman, who was on Kadima’s first list in 2006 but quit the Knesset
when he was not given the Education portfolio. Reichman is seen as
having many of Livni’s strengths.
Mofaz received congratulatory phone calls from President Shimon
Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Labor leader Shelly
Yacimovich, and journalist-turned-politician Yair Lapid. Mofaz will
soon meet with Netanyahu within the framework of the regular update
meetings held between the prime minister and the leader of the
opposition, in addition to meeting with Peres next week.
The Knesset is currently in recess, but the next time it convenes,
Mofaz will go through the procedure of formally replacing Livni as
the head of the opposition. Mofaz will convene his Knesset faction
for the first time next week ahead of Passover.
When Shas chairman Eli Yishai called Mofaz, he urged him to join what
the interior minister called a national emergency government. But
Mofaz made clear that he had no intention of joining Netanyahu’s
“Kadima is an alternative to the Netanyahu government and I intend to
replace him, unite and strengthen Kadima and lead it to victory,”
Mofaz said, following symbolic visits to Mount Herzl and the Western
Wall in Jerusalem.
A Dahaf Institute poll taken after his victory on Wednesday and
broadcast on Channel 10 indicated that Mofaz has a challenge ahead of
him in gathering enough support to compete with Netanyahu.
The poll found that if elections were held now, Likud would win 32
seats, Kadima and Labor would each garner 15, Israel Beiteinu 14, and
Lapid’s as yet unformed party nine. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post
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