Mofaz Kadima press conference 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Kadima’s veteran MKs Dalia Itzik, Ronnie Bar-On and Ya’acov Edri left political life on Wednesday, shortly before the party released its list of candidates for the next Knesset.
Itzik announced she is taking a break from politics, after 20 years in the Knesset. As a Labor MK, she served as Environmental Protection Minister, Industry, Trade and Labor Minister and Communications Minister. She moved to Kadima when former prime minister Ariel Sharon founded the party, becoming the first female Knesset Speaker.
"I didn't think I'd be able to contribute much in the current situation, but I'll be back," Itzik said.
Recent polls have shown that Kadima, currently the largest faction in the Knesset with 28 seats, will not pass the election threshold.
Bar-On is the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman, and has been an MK since 2003, when he ran with Likud. He served as Finance Minister, Interior Minister, National Infrastructure Minister and Science and Technology Minister. He was also attorney-general in 1997, but resigned after two days, due to the Bar-On-Hebron corruption scandal.
Bar-On met with Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz on Wednesday, telling him that he still supports Kadima and will help the party in the upcoming election campaign if he is needed.
Ederi also entered the Knesset in 2003, and served in several ministerial positions, including Health, Immigration and Absorption, Negev and Galilee and Jerusalem Affairs.
Later Wednesday, Kadima MK Marina Solodkin, who brought many votes from the Russian immigrant community to the party, also resigned from politics, after she was put in the unrealistic ninth spot on the list for the next Knesset.
Solodkin told Mofaz that her placement was unacceptable, and blamed it on "dirty tricks" by former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who was on the selection committee for the Kadima list.
Mofaz is first on the Kadima list, followed by MKs Yisrael Hasson, Yohanan Plesner, Ronit Tirosh, Shai Hermesh, Yuval Zellner, Doron Avital, former Shinui MK Etti Livni and Kadima MK Akram Hasson.
Zellner, Avital and Hasson have not served a full Knesset term, replacing MKs that passed away or resigned in the 18th Knesset.
"Kadima is approaching the election with an experienced, responsible, high-quality, varied list," Mofaz said. "Today it is clear who is Kadima and what the party represents. I believe in Kadima and its path, and together we will succeed."