Sunday, January 6, 2013

Likud Sources Speculate President Peres is Behind Livni,Yechimovich's Call to Unify Against Bibi

Sources in the Likud party expressed concern over the involvement of President Shimon Peres, after he recently met separately with Lapid, Livni and Yechimovich. The Likud sources suggested that Peres may have pushed the three center-left parties to unite in an attempt to reduce Netanyahu's chances of heading the next government. “Peres will do anything to turn the government train to the left,” a Likud member said according to the Israel Hayom Sunday.

The president’s office issued a statement Sunday denying that Peres “interfered in elections matters.”

"The president is not involved in any kind of political maneuvers. This would be opposed to the nature of his job and his worldview. The president has held meetings over the past few days with party leaders who seek to learn from his experience. His purpose is not to interfere in the election process. The president has also met with the prime minister and the heads of Shas. In keeping with this policy, the president recently agreed to meet with both Livni and Lapid,” the statement read.

In a Friday interview to Channel 2 News, Livni called Peres a concerned citizen who is engaged in Israel’s political happenings. “He cares, he wants to see the State of Israel entering the negotiating room and reaching an agreement [with the Palestinians],” she said. ”I share in the concerns that he expressed. That’s why I returned to politics.”