Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni may be throwing their hats into the political arena once more, teaming up to attempt to defeat the nationalist camp headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The pair met on Wednesday for an hour and a half just a day after prosecutors announced their plan to appeal the verdict and sentence in a court case charging the former prime minister with tax evasion, fraud, and breach of trust.
Olmert was found guilty of breach of trust, fined less than $18,000 and given a one-year suspended jail sentence, considered by analysts to be a very light sentence.
If the pair do run, and add celebrity Yair Lapid, son of politician Tommy Lapid, they could receive more votes than the ruling Likud party, according to a poll published by Haaretz on Thursday.
There had been speculation that a new political party headed by Olmert and Livni could defeat Netanyahu’s Likud in the election, but polls released last week found that Olmert and Livni would likely only achieve ten seats.
The poll says 25 seats would go to the tripartite team, one more than Likud’s 24 seats.
Yet the poll also says nationalists would win the majority of votes, which means Netanyahu would probably continue as prime minister.
If Olmert, Livni, and Lapid do not join up, nationalists would likely win 65 seats, with 55 to the left wing.Malkah Fleisher
About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
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