Ramon does not want Kadima takeover

Deadline for splitting Kadima before the Knesset’s 3-month recess comes and goes; Rebel MK: Party name has become a burden.

Haim Ramon 390 (photo credit: Gil Cohen Magen / Reuters)
Haim Ramon 390
(photo credit: Gil Cohen Magen / Reuters)
The July 25 deadline for completing a split in Kadima before the Knesset’s three-month recess came and went Wednesday without any MKs leaving the party.
Sources close to former Kadima council chairman Haim Ramon said he had drafted the seven MKs required by law to break off from the party but he decided to wait with the move until the public outcry over the Likud’s attempt to split Kadima had subsided.
Options available to Ramon include waiting a week or two and then splitting the party during the recess, waiting until the Knesset returns on October 15, or trying to draft a majority of the MKs in the faction for a hostile takeover of the party.
The advantage of the first option would be that it would enable Ramon to start building up his new party and preparing for the next election. But splitting Kadima during the summer would be complicated because the Knesset House Committee, which must approve any split, can be summoned at a moment’s notice when the Knesset is in session but must be notified three days in advance during the recess. During those three days, MKs can be pressured to change their mind about leaving Kadima.
Waiting until the Knesset returns would distance the split from the Likud’s botched attempt to break up the party. But it would keep wavering MKs in limbo and could endanger the political maneuver.
If Ramon drafts 15 of the 28 Kadima MKs, they could legally wrest control over the party, its infrastructure and its name. But an MK close to Ramon said Wednesday that this option was not being considered, because “Kadima’s name has become a burden and is no longer a political asset.”
Along with the split in Kadima that did not happen Wednesday, the Knesset’s summer session ended without Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu initiating elections. Rumors spread through the Knesset Wednesday that Netanyahu could initiate a quick election Wednesday night and surprise his political adversaries, but a Netanyahu adviser quashed the rumors.
Over the summer, Netanyahu intends to begin the process of passing the controversial 2013 state budget. If he sees that it would be impossible, he is expected to initiate an election in October that would take place at the beginning of 2013. If Netanyahu can pass the budget, he may be able to complete his term, which is officially set to end October 22, 2013.