Israel’s Livni, Herzog Form Joint Ticket to Challenge Netanyahu

Israel’s former foreign minister and chief peace negotiator, Tzipi Livni, will join forces with Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog in a bid to topple Benjamin Netanyahu after his third term as prime minister.

Herzog, who will head Labor’s joint ticket with Livni’s Hatenuah party, accepted a rotation agreement in the event that their alliance wins elections scheduled for March 17. He will be premier for the first two years, and she will take over for the rest of the four-year term, the leaders said at a press conference in Tel Aviv today.

“We must join forces because only together we will win,” said Herzog, the opposition leader in Parliament. He stood beside Livni, who was fired as justice minister this month by Netanyahu.

Livni’s termination together with Finance Minister Yair Lapid set the stage for early elections that will take place less than two years after Netanyahu’s current government took office. The prime minister accused the two of working together from inside the cabinet to undermine his ability to govern.

Polls, including a study by Channel 10 yesterday, have shown that the Herzog-Livni ticket could draw more votes than Netanyahu’s Likud party if they bring the former defense minister, Shaul Mofaz, and his small Kadima party into the alliance.

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