MK Tzipi Livni is undecided about whether to give her party’s second portfolio
in the cabinet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is building to MK Amram Mitzna
or to MK Amir Peretz, sources close to Livni said on Wednesday.
sources said that on one hand, Mitzna was second on the candidates list of The
Tzipi Livni Party and Peretz third, but on the other, Peretz gave up the third
slot in Labor and had experience as a minister that Mitzna lacked.
portfolio is expected to be the Environmental Protection Ministry, a field in
which neither candidate has experience. The other candidate will receive an as
yet unknown Knesset committee chairmanship.
The tension was palpable
between Peretz and Mitzna at a meeting of their faction at the Knesset on
Before the meeting officially began, Peretz informed Livni
Party faction chairman Meir Sheetrit that it was Mitzna’s 68th
“Well, at least he’ll get a cake,” Sheetrit joked in reference
to the ministerial issue, though, in reality, he did not hear about the birthday
early enough to order refreshments.
Soon after, Mitzna entered the
faction room, and ignored Peretz’s outstretched hand when he approached to say
happy birthday, only answering “yes” laconically.
Livni told the faction
that her criticism of Netanyahu from the last government still
“This time, it’s different, because Netanyahu put us in [the
coalition] first,” she explained. “The question of what the government will look
like is still open. It’s not a matter of portfolios or jobs, it’s the ability to
influence the government’s decisions.”
She added that her holding the
Justice portfolio would allow her party to promote its worldview and prevent
Former minister Haim Ramon, who helped Livni found the party,
said he was disappointed in Livni just as he was in the past when Shaul Mofaz
led Kadima and Ehud Barak led Labor into governments led by Netanyahu.
pray Livni can change Bibi [Netanyahu], but I don’t believe she can,” Ramon