Tzipi Livni named opposition leader in Knesset

Avi Gabbay seated next to Knesset member Tzipi Livni at the Israeli parliament, Nov. 6, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Avi Gabbay seated next to Knesset member Tzipi Livni at the Knessett, Nov. 6, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Tzipi Livni will replace Isaac Herzog as opposition leader in the Knesset.

Livni, head of the Hatnua Party, and Avi Gabbay, head of the Labor Party, made the announcement on Monday afternoon at a news conference. The two parties make up the Zionist Union faction in the Knesset.

Herzog gave up his seat in the Knesset in order to become head of the Jewish Agency; He takes up the position on August 1. Gabbay cannot serve as opposition leader since he does not have a Knesset seat.

As part of the deal that makes Livni opposition leader, she agreed that her Hatnua party will run in the next elections again with Labor. Her party currently has five seats of the Zionist Union’s 24.

“We will build the Zionist Union into a bloc that will replace the current government and work for the citizens,” Gabbay and Livni said in a statement.

Her nomination must be supported by more than half of the opposition Knesset members, which number 54, and be submitted to the speaker of the Knesset for approval.

Livni previously served as opposition leader from 2009 to 2012 while leader of the Kadima Party.

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