Center-left parties discuss forming bloc to beat Bibi

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Labor Party leader Shelly Yachimovich and Hatnua party chief Tzipi Livni have agreed to discuss forming a left-center bloc to prevent Benjamin Netanyahu from forming the next government.

Livni on Friday called on Yacimovich and centrist Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid to join together in a bloc to defeat Netanyahu, the prime minister, in the Jan. 22 elections.

The call came a day after Yacimovich said she would not join a coalition government with Netanyahu, who heads the Likud-Beiteinu list, and instead would prefer to remain the leader of the opposition.

Yachimovich responded positively to Livni and the two are said to have scheduled a private meeting.

Lapid said he also would meet with Livni and Yacimovich, but would not rule out joining a Netanyahu government. He suggested that the three parties consider joining a Netanyahu government to make it more centrist.

The combined Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu list has been losing seats in recent weeks, according to several recent polls.

Meanwhile, some haredi Orthodox parties have threatened to throw their support behind a left-wing or centrist bloc, saying in movement newspaper editorials that it is because of Netanyahu’s "hubris," Ynet reported.

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