President will not attend opening ceremony marking winter Knesset session

October 16, 2006 09:37

Zion Amid protests from numerous members of Knesset, President Moshe Katsav is expected to attend the opening ceremony marking the beginning of the Knesset's winter session on Sunday afternoon. However, breaking with tradition set by previous years, he will not be making a speech. An estimated 20 MKs have announced their intention to protest the president's presence at the event, and some have even indicated they will absent themselves from the Knesset plenum altogether. Meretz MKs have said they will remove themselves from the hall should Katsav enter the general assembly. Kadima MK Ruhama Avraham and Labor MK Yoram Marciano announced that they too will either leave or not enter at all if the president enters the auditorium. In addition, a group of MKs from Katsav's former party, the Likud, were also said to be considering joining the protest. Likud MKs Gideon Sa'ar, Limor Livnat, and Gilad Erdan are currently attempting to convince additional party members to participate in the protest by refusing to stand in honor when the president arrives.

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