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3/14/15

Israel: Elections : Livni and Herzog merge in Zionist Union to oust Netanyahu | euronews, world news

Running mates former justice minister Tzipi Livni and Labour Party leader Isaac Herzog are not an obvious electoral alliance teaming up against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to see who will govern Israel.

She quit the traditional Likud party of the right to join the Kadima centrists before she formed the liberal Hatnuah party. He’s a socialist. Together, they head the centre-left Zionist Union, with a mantra ‘to defend a Jewish and democratic state’.

Livni packs significant political weight in the contest, Herzog less. The prime minister’s experience puts Herzog in the shade, many say the same goes for charisma.

Herzog says: “We need to join forces, we need to unite, we need to work together to win; it’s either us or him.”

Determination wins points with the anyone-but-Netanyahu voters. Herzog is 54, a lawyer elected to the Knesset in 2003 after serving as government secretary in Ehud Barak’s cabinet. After that he was construction minister in Ariel Sharon’s government, then handled tourism under Ehud Olmert and Netanyahu. When Labour quit that coalition, so did Herzog.

In 2013, the son of a former Israeli president and grandson of a one-time chief rabbi was elected to chair his party. But its reputation has been suffering so much that he opted not to run under its banner alone now but to team up with Hatnuah, meaning The Movement (established in late 2012).

Read more: Livni and Herzog merge in Zionist Union to oust Netanyahu | euronews, world news

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