(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi)
MK Daniel Ben-Simon on Tuesday announced his intention to retire from the Labor party and create a faction of one outside the coalition.
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"I do not agree with the path chosen by the ruling coalition; I am tormented by this government, and I am calling for members of Labor to respond to my request." Ben-Simon's request awaits the majority approval of the Labor Party.
In an official statement, Ben-Simon mentioned his issues with the 2011-2012 state budget and his announcement in front of Labor MKs that he can no longer vote with the coalition as leading reasons for his split.
He mentioned that for some time he was working tirelessly to convince fellow MK's to remove the Labor Party from the coalition. When that initiative failed, Ben-Simon decided to take Barak and Simhon's advice and end his acquiescence within the Labor Party.
Defense Minister and Labor chair Ehud Barak has not approved Ben-Simon's decision to leave the party. Barak has said he will be the last of the signatures needed by Ben-Simon in order to split, and will not stop Ben-Simon if he succeeds in getting a majority of party member signatures.
Barak defended the Labor's current condition, saying claims that the party has begun to crumble are far from reality. He added that it was
still unclear if Ben-Simon will succeed in getting the majority approval required for an official split from the party.
Three members of the Knesset sent out an announcement saying: We understand Daniel Ben-Simon's desire to split from the Labor Party,
and if the issue depends on us we will not stand in his way.