Smiling Shaul Mofaz wins Kadima primary 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The Knesset will officially declare Shaul Mofaz the new opposition leader in a
mid-recess meeting next Monday.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin’s office
announced on Thursday that 25 MKs signed a letter requesting a plenum meeting.
Kadima plans to declare Mofaz its leader officially during the
As leader of the largest opposition party, Mofaz is the
automatic choice for opposition leader, unless all of the other opposition
parties agree on an alternative candidate.
As new opposition leader, he
will be getting quite a few perks, to which outgoing Kadima leader Tzipi Livni
will have to say goodbye.
He will have monthly meetings with Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on diplomatic and security matters, give speeches in
the plenum immediately after Netanyahu and participate in government ceremonies
with the prime minister.
His salary will increase to that of a government
minister. He will also receive a car with a driver, a Shin Bet (Israel
Security Agency) bodyguard, a larger office in the Knesset with a conference
room, a senior adviser and more assistants.
It is not against Knesset
regulations for Mofaz to continue to serve as chairman of the Foreign Affairs
and Defense Committee, and he has yet to announce whether he intends to leave
the post or not.
Sources in Kadima have given mixed answers as to what
Mofaz plans to do, with some saying the job will go to Kadima MK Avi Dichter in
appreciation for his leaving the party leadership race and supporting Mofaz.
Others say the party’s new leader will prefer to remain committee chairman and
use the platform to attack Netanyahu on defense issues.