Kadima easily passes controversial budget

Budget passing gives political boost to Livni, but Sheetrit says "meeting was a joke because we didn’t get to see what’s really in the budget.”

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
July 6, 2011 05:49
1 minute read.
Kadima faction meeting

kadima faction room 248 88 aj. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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In a political boost for opposition leader Tzipi Livni, the Kadima faction voted 21- 1 on Tuesday to pass the party’s 2011 state budget seven months late.

Despite a Channel 10 report that raised questions about transparency in the party, and especially its budget, the only MK who voted against it was Livni’s rival, Shaul Mofaz.

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The other two MKs who ran against Livni in the last leadership race, Avi Dichter and Meir Sheetrit, took opposite approaches.

Dichter announced he would “swallow” the 2011 budget because it was so late in the year but that he expected greater involvement from MKs in planning the 2012 budget. Sheetrit shouted at his colleagues and left the room in anger before the vote, protesting that the MKs were not given more detailed copies of the budget.

“The meeting was a joke because we didn’t get to see what’s really in the budget,” Sheetrit said. ”That’s not the way you pass a budget.”

MK Yulia Shamalov Berkovich, who abstained in the vote, fiercely attacked Livni, saying that the budget was “a symptom of failed leadership.”

MK Marina Solodkin said the sovereignty of the faction had to return and complained that the party’s council had not met in six months.

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A Kadima spokesman said the nearly unanimous vote was proof the party is unified and transparent. He noted Kadima was the only party where the faction must approve the party’s budget. Four meetings were held on the budget in which any MK could ask questions.

The faction did not vote on Dichter’s proposal to form a subcommittee of MKs to monitor the budget. Procedures for passing the party’s 2012 budget were not changed.

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