Omri Sharon to help Livni in Kadima race

Former prime minister's son who was convicted of political fundraising laws, perjury, throws support behind Kadima leader.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
January 31, 2012 18:10
1 minute read.
Omri Sharon [file]

Omri Sharon file 390 (R). (photo credit: Gil Cohen Magen / Reuters)

 
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Former MK Omri Sharon announced on Tuesday that he would work on behalf of Kadima leader Tzipi Livni in her March 27 party primary race against Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Shaul Mofaz.

Sharon, the son of the party’s founder, former prime minister Ariel Sharon, did not endorse any candidate in the last Kadima leadership race in 2008. He was elected to the Knesset in 2003.

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In February 2006, the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court sentenced Omri Sharon to a ninemonth prison term, a ninemonth suspended sentence and an NIS 300,000 fine after he was convicted of violating political fundraising laws and providing false testimony during his father’s 1999 race for leader of Likud.

The judge who sentenced Sharon, Edna Beckenstein, was appointed last week to head the central elections committee in Kadima.

Livni reported with pride about Sharon’s addition to her campaign in a meeting with MKs who back her at her Tel Aviv office.

“Omri will roll up his sleeves and contribute his skills and abilities in order to guarantee that Kadima under me will remain the alternative to Netanyahu and his government,” Livni said. “It is more than symbolic, in my eyes, that Omri, the son of the party’s founder, is taking a stand on principle.”

Mofaz’s associates mocked Livni, noting that she was also supported by Kadima council chairman Haim Ramon, who was convicted of sexual harassment, and Kadima house committee chairman Tzahi Hanegbi, who was convicted of perjury.

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“This is further proof that Kadima requires a deep change,” a Mofaz spokesman said. “Kadima needs to be fixed and its leadership refreshed in order to serve as a fitting alternative for the Israeli voter.”

Moshe Mizrahi, who is running on the Labor party’s Knesset list in the coming elections, criticized Kadima and Livni after Sharon threw his support behind her.

Mizrahi said the party is full of infamous people, criminals and former prisoners, “and now – former prisoner Omri Sharon.”

“It is time the public opens its eyes and sees who it really wants to lead them and if those are the values and morals [it wants],” he said.

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