Israel ex-opposition leader Livni quits parliament (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 05/01/12)
AFP} Agence France Presse
AFP} Agence France Presse Articles-Index-Top
Tzipi Livni, the former head of Israel´s biggest opposition party
Kadima, resigned from parliament on Tuesday, a month after she lost a
primary battle for leadership of her centre-right faction.
Speculation about Livni´s political future swirled after she suffered
defeat at the hands of her challenger Shaul Mofaz in elections held
March 28. He won 61.7 percent of the vote, easily besting her.
Her widely expected announcement came as Israel waits to hear the
official date for general elections which are to be brought forward
from October 2013 and could be held as early as August this year.
Kadima, which won the most parliamentary seats in the 2009 elections
but failed to form a government, looks set to do badly in the
upcoming vote with opinion polls suggesting it could lose at least
half its seats.
In her resignation speech, Livni warned Israel was sitting "on a
"The international clock is ticking and the existence of Israel as a
Jewish and democratic state is in danger," she said.
"For years, Israeli leaders have been burying their heads in the
sand, occupying themselves with political exercises and spin and in
that time the threat to Israel has only grown."
She has been strongly critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
and his right-wing coalition government, and said she had no regrets
about her efforts to revive peace talks with the Palestinians, which
Livni has not said what she will do next, but hinted she might remain
in politics in some capacity.
"At this stage I am leaving the Knesset, but I´m not leaving
political life," she said.
Livni, 53, is a lawyer by training and became head of Kadima after
its former leader Ehud Olmert resigned in the face of corruption
A mother of two, she hails from a family of nationalists and began
her political career in the Likud party now led by Netanyahu, leaving
it along with then-prime minister Ariel Sharon for the newly formed
Kadima faction. (Copyright © 2012 Agence France Presse. 05/01/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY