Knesset Member and former Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni
officially resigned the Knesset on Tuesday, after 13 years as a member of the Israeli parliament.
Livni tendered her resignation to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin at noon.
Livni's loss in the Kadima
primaries to Shaul Mofaz,
who won 62% of the votes, immediately sparked speculations regarding her future in politics.
Speaking to reporters prior to meeting with Rivlin, Livni thanked her supporters: "I want to thank everyone who had faith in me… and especially to the Knesset members who stood by my side."
(Photo: Gil Yohanan)
"I have had the privilege of being among Kadima's founders, a party that aims to promote a (government) based on responsibility and hope – one that can resist extortion.
"Today, Kadima is the biggest political party. I wanted to introduce a different kind of politics in Israel,
one that prefers principles to seats, one that promotes the greater good over personal interests and one free of cynicism and power-drunkenness," she continued.
"I have followed these principles all my life and I will follow them wherever I go. Despite the price I had to pay I'm not sorry that I didn't give in to political blackmail and that I didn’t sell the country to the haredim
in order to form a government.
"The existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic nation is in great danger. Our leadership is busy with media spins and dirty politics is a fatal mistake."
With Rivlin (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
She further urged the current government "to spare no effort in promoting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, even if it's not that trendy right now. Israel is on the brink of a volcano and the leadership is busy with media spins while the threat just grows stronger."
"The Israeli public deserves more from their leaders. They should demand more. Even if the Opposition is a political wasteland, the Israeli public deserve a viable alternative at any given time.
"I still believe in these principles and I respect Kadima's voters' choice to vote for Shaul Mofaz over me... He now has the right to lead the party as he sees fit," she said.
"My values and principles mandate me to leave Kadima. I may be leaving the Knesset, but not public life. The State of Israel is too dear to me, and it deserved more than current (government) policies have to offer," she concluded.
Livni will be replaced by Yuval Zellner, who is next up on Kadima's roster for a Knesset seat.
Moran Azulay contributed to this report
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