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Parties in last-ditch efforts to woo voters
Candidates use last day before Knesset elections to give last push to fight over every vote. Likud says shift to smaller right-wing parties halted, Kadima relying on young people and women, Labor infuriated over attempts to disregard party, while Lieberman plans visit to Western Wall
Millions of Israelis will be heading to polling stations across the country on Tuesday to decide on the composition of the 18th Knesset. In the last day left before the elections, all parties are engaged in last-ditch efforts to conquer voters' hearts, or at least make them cast the right ballot.

 

Kadima members remain optimistic, believing that the momentum is on their side. The last days' slogan, "Only Tzipi will defeat Bibi," continued to stand out, and efforts were invested in encouraging the activists and voters and in organizing Election Day. The party's main target is women and young people.

 

On Monday morning, the party held an event for its activists, after which the senior party members were planning to make phone calls to undecided voters.

 

Chairwoman Tzipi Livni was expected to ride the train from Tel Aviv to southern Israel, accompanied by some of the party's top politicians.

 

The Likud is sharpening its main message, which the party spokespeople will be reiterating in every interview in the last day before the elections: "A big Likud and a clear decision are needed in order for us to govern."

 

Sources in the party estimated that voters' shift to smaller right-wing parties has been halted and that people are moving back to the Likud. Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, who toured the Golan Heights on Sunday, was expected to visit the party's headquarters in Ashdod and Ashkelon on Monday.

 

Netanyahu addressed his party's activists in the morning hours, in an attempt to encourage them to bring more voters.

 

"Make one last effort," he told them. "Remind everyone that there is only one ballot, and whoever wants me as prime minister must vote Likud. Voting to right-wing satellite parties may lead to Kadima's election."

 

The equipment which will be used by the party's representatives at the polling stations was set to be transferred to the Likud headquarters across Israel on Monday, including parasols, umbrellas, tables and chairs.

 

Meanwhile, the preparations for the party's main event on Tuesday evening continued at Tel Aviv's Exhibition Park, where Likud candidates and voters, as well as Chairman Netanyahu, are expected to arrive after the publication of the final results in order to celebrate in case of a victory.


 

Netanyahu and Livni on elections signs (Photo: AFP)

 

Labor Party officials are furious over the Kadima and Likud campaigns, which they claim are trying to hide Labor, critically harming the party. A senior party member said that "it's a mistake thinking that the battle is only between Tzipi and Bibi. In the end a coalition will have to be formed based on the blocs."

 

Labor will try to do everything to ensure that as many of the party's supporters arrive at the polling stations Tuesday. They will focus on efforts to bring back their former voters, who have left the party over the years.

 

On Sunday evening, Chairman Ehud Barak visited a bar in Tel Aviv where he tried to convince young people to vote for him.

 

According to former Minister Uzi Landau, the head of Yisrael Beiteinu's election headquarters, said Sunday evening, "We're entering the final stretch. We'll meet with the activists in the different headquarters, examine the lists and ensure that all plans are implemented – for example, that all supporters will be able to make it to the polling stations.

 

"The Knesset members will visit the party's offices and meet with the activists. We hope the wave of popularity we feel will reach its peak, but we also fear complacency," Landau added.

 

Chairman Avigdor Lieberman was expected to visit the Jerusalem headquarters on Monday, where he will oversee the preparations for Election Day. In the evening he plans to visit the Western Wall.

 

Amnon Meranda, Attila Somfalvi, Eli Senyor, Yael Branovsky, Roi Mandel, Kobi Nahshoni, Ronen Medzini and Yael Levy contributed to this report

 


First published: 09.02.09, 07:38
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