Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni issued a challenge to fellow lawmakers on Monday while speaking at a Zionist Union faction meeting, warning she would dissolve the partnership between Hatnua — which she leads — and that of the Labor party — led by Isaac Herzog — unless she succeeds Herzog as opposition chairperson.
“Leading the opposition is essential for the partnership to continue,” she told the faction meeting. Cameras were running at the time of her statement. Herzog has recommended her for the post, even though she’s not considered a first choice among Labor party members.
Herzog has just been appointed to the chairmanship of the Jewish Agency for Israel, succeeding Natan Sharansky in the post. He and Livni together formed the Zionist Union faction in order to run in the last election, winning 24 seats in 2015.
Because he is a Knesset member, Herzog retained his title as opposition leader, even when he was subsequently voted down as Labor party chair, succeeded by Avi Gabbay, who is not an MK.
At present, however, Livni’s party only holds five of the 24 mandates won by the Zionist Union faction in 2015, and it’s not clear how much power she actually can wield in order to enforce her demand.