Opposition leader Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) is considering canceling his party’s
primary in favor of a selection committee that would decide who was on the list
for the next Knesset, Kadima sources said on Wednesday.
Mofaz will not
make a final decision until after the Knesset is dissolved next week and is
weighing the pros and cons of each method. Should he decide to appoint a
selection committee, Mofaz would have to change Kadima regulations, which would
require approval from MKs and the party’s central committee.
what is good for the state, which is a strong Kadima,” Mofaz said, when asked
his considerations in examining the two possibilities.
MKs are split on whether a committee would help or harm the party, with Mofaz’s
closest allies speaking out against holding a primary.
One Kadima MK said
that people’s opposition to a selection committee could only come from fear that
they would not make it to the top of the party’s list.
“At this time, a
committee is the right thing to do. Elections are very soon, and we should try
to create a better, higherquality list to bring back our voters,” party MK Ze’ev
Since polls show Kadima shrinking to a third or less of its
current 28 seats, Bielski said the faction must recognize reality and be
prepared to make sacrifices for the good of the party.
Fellow Kadima MK
Yuval Zellner added that “now is not the time for internal wars. We need to be
united to face other parties.”
Zellner and Bielski estimated that most of
the party’s faction would favor canceling the primary, a claim that MK Ronit
Tirosh (Kadima), a Mofaz ally who supports a selection committee,
“Party members won’t like it, and MKs will think of their
personal gain and oppose it, but if we’re thinking of the good of the party,
then there should be a committee,” Tirosh said. “I would do well in a primary,
but I don’t think Kadima should waste time, energy and money that we don’t have.
It should go into the nationwide race.”
Tirosh also denied claims that
primaries were more democratic, saying that money and back-room deals played a
huge part in them.
MK Nachman Shai (Kadima) adamantly opposed a selection
committee, saying that while the primary system had problems, it was better and
“Who are the wizards putting together this magic list of
good, experienced, electable people that will get us more votes?” he asked. “Who
is on the committee? The problem with committees is that they’re meant to serve
Shai also described a committee as a betrayal to
Kadima members who paid to join the party in order to have an influence and
determine its list.
He denied that a primary would cause in-fighting,
saying that people would argue even more after the committee formed a list,
because anyone not in the top 10 spots would not be satisfied.
committee is a big mistake, and it is immoral,” he concluded.
major parties in the Knesset choose their candidates via committee, including
Yisrael Beytenu, as well as Shas and United Torah Judaism, whose lists are
compiled by rabbis.