Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich addressed Tzipi Livni's return to politics Tuesday, saying that "founding a new centrist party is a mistake. We need to unite the ranks in order to create a great central force that will topple (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu."
During a press conference at Labor headquarters in Tel Aviv, Yachimovich called on Likud voters to choose her party in the upcoming election.
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Addressing Monday's Likud primaries, which indicated that the party was shifting to the right, Yachimovich said "I urge the moderate rightist public that loves this country and is socially aware to connect with the social debate that is being conducted in Israel over the past year or two (and support) the state's party."
Yachimovich told reporters that Livni's decision to form a new party "does not change the situation. Labor is still big and strong and has the public's trust. The elections will be between two people who represent two different worldviews – me and Netanyahu."
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In a thinly-veiled jab at Livni, the Labor leader said, "Only someone who can make decisions and avoids constantly changing the agenda is worthy of being prime minister."
Livni, the former head of the Kadima party, announced earlier in the day that she will be running in the upcoming Knesset elections as the head of a new party called "Hatnua."
Shortly after Livni's announcement three Kadima Knesset members – Yoel Hasson, Rachel Adato and Shlomo Molla – resigned from the party. They are expected to join Livni's new party. Other Kadima MKs are expected to follow suit.
Moran Azulay is a Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent