Rebel Kadima MKs demanded on Wednesday that their party leave the government, with several vowing to vote against the coalition on all matters, following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s announcement that the Keshev Committee on equality in the burden of service will be disbanded.
“Starting tomorrow morning, I see myself as a member of the opposition, voting against the government,” MK Shlomo Molla said. “The prime minister trampled Kadima’s dignity and made the committee irrelevant, choosing to collaborate with haredim and settlers.”
Molla called for Kadima to leave the coalition immediately, adding that the MKs who said the party must join the government and criticized former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni for not doing so now see they were mistaken and must apologize to her.
Kadima MKs Robert Tibayev and Nino Abesadze pointed out that they have been rebelling against their party since it joined the coalition, and will continue to do so.
Tibayev currently cannot vote against the coalition, as Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz suspended him from proposing and voting on bills for a month after he repeatedly broke coalition discipline.
On Tuesday, Tibayev sent a letter to Mofaz and Kadima council chairman Shraga Brosh demanding that the council be called to a meeting to discuss leaving the government.
“The goal isn’t to split the party – it’s to leave the coalition and rehabilitate Kadima,” Tibayev explained.
“Kadima has no reason to [be] in this coalition, which is constantly evading responsibility,” Abesadze said. “We are at a point where the choice is equality in the burden or elections.”
Abesadze said she will continue voting against the coalition, in order to represent “the real stances of Kadima voters.”
She called on other Kadima MKs to leave the coalition and “find more worthy ideological platforms.”
Opposition leader Shelly Yechimovich expressed support for the Kadima rebels, calling the Kadima-Likud coalition cynical and lacking in values, founded only for reasons of political survival.
“This partnership proved to be worthless at the first test,” she stated. “MKs that are not willing to make a mockery of themselves and be part of the farce are praiseworthy.”
As Labor did last month with Tibayev, the party will allow Molla and Abesadze to submit bills via its allotment if they are punished by Mofaz.