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Tzipi Livni quits Knesset, vows to remain in public life (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST.COM STAFF, LAHAV HARKOV 05/01/12)Source: http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=268208 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Former opposition leader Tzipi Livni announced her resignation from her post in the Knesset Tuesday during a meeting with Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, where she vowed to remain serving the public.

"I have always said that a seat is not everything. And today I announce that I am giving up seat in the Knesset," she said at a press conference prior to handing her official letter of resignation to Rivlin. "I am leaving [the Knesset] but I am not leaving public life," she said.

The former opposition leader thanked activists, her supporters and MKs who stood by her despite the fact that they knew she might lose to new Kadima chair Shaul Mofaz, whom Livni wished the best of luck in leading Kadima "on his path."

Livni said she was proud to have founded the Kadima Party, which has become "Israel´s largest party," along with former prime minister Ariel Sharon.

"It was founded by a great leader," she said, "giving Israel truth and direction... Ariel Sharon symbolizes Kadima."

Since Livni was knocked from the party chairmanship last month, she has been silent about her political future. Rumors of an early general election came soon after he party loss, leaving her little time to regroup within Kadima - a factor that likely finalized her decision to step down.

During her speech, Livni also said that she does not regret her past political endeavors, and slammed the current government for failing move the country forward.

"Israel citizens deserve more than what the current government can provide," she said.

"I brought a new kind of politics, one that is not cynical and power hungry, and that does not put personal politics first. I am not sorry I didn´t get into political blackmail, sell the state to haredim [ultra-Orthodox] in order to build a government, and I am not sorry I didn´t join a government that is deteriorating Israel," she declared.

After receiving her official letter of resignation, Rivlin said he has no doubt that Livni is not done serving the public "She has a long future ahead of her," Rivlin remarked alongside a smiling Livni.

MK Dalia Itzik (Kadima) said earlier Tuesday that Shaul Mofaz had offered former Livni the second slot on the Kadima party list, but that Livni declined the offer, Army Radio reported.

On Monday, opposition leader and Kadima head Shaul Mofaz said that his party will be ready for elections "any day, any hour, any year," but added that he preferred date is October 16, as it is after the High Holy Days and Succot.

“No one should get too excited by polls – we are the only alternative to the Netanyahu government,” he said. “We will stand strong and determined.” (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/01/12)

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