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Livni quits politics after discouraging poll predictions

Feb. 18, 2019 2:24 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 19, 2019 1:34 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- MK Tzipi Livni announced that she is quitting her political life after two decades and pulling her Hatnuah party out of the upcoming Israeli legislative elections scheduled for April 9th.

Livni held a press conference in Tel Aviv, on Monday afternoon, officially announcing she is pulling out of the race for the 21st Israeli Knesset, and stressed, "I believe that my and Hatnuah's positions are better for the State of Israel and that justice is on our side. I have the internal force to continue fighting for what I believe in, however, I lack the political force to implement my ideology. I will never forgive myself if the votes of those who believe in me go to waste."

After opinion polls were published on Sunday and two of them gave less than 1% of the vote to Hatnuah, showing that the political party would not pass the electoral threshold, Livni sought to join forces with either the Yesh Atid or the Israel Resilience party.

However, Livni reached a stalemate, which reportedly led her to decide to leave politics behind.

According to Hebrew-language news outlets, Livni was eager to join with the Israel Resilience party, nevertheless, sources in the party said leader, Benny Gantz, was reluctant to run a joint campaign due to worries that Livni is seen as “too leftist.”

Livni began her political life as a member of Knesset for the Likud party in 1999 and in 2005 she joined the Kadima party, set up by former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and was elected chair of the party in 2008.

Later in 2012, Livni resigned from the Knesset and set up her own Hatnuah party after her defeat in Kadima party leadership primaries.

In the 2013 Israeli elections, Hatnuah won six seats and Livni was made justice minister in a coalition with current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in addition to being appointed in charge of negotiations with the Palestinians.

For the 2014 elections she united Hatnuah with the Labor party to form the Zionist Union and was opposition leader from July 2017 until the January 2019 when the Zionist Union was dissolved.

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