(photo credit: Miiam Alster)
Kadima leadership candidate Meir Sheetrit denied reports on Sunday that he was
trying to draft the seven MKs required to split his faction and form a new one
under his leadership.
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Sheetrit has been a frequent critic of the party’s
current head, opposition leader Tzipi Livni. Army Radio reported that he had
spoken about splitting the faction with multiple MKs but had fallen an MK or two
short in drafting the necessary amount.
Kadima MKs, including Sheetrit,
confirmed that they were concerned about their party’s future following a
Shvakim Panorama poll
broadcast Thursday on Israel Radio that predicted Kadima
would win only 10 seats in the next Knesset if journalist Yair Lapid formed a
“Due to the problematic state of the party, people are
talking about all kinds of options, including a split, but that doesn’t mean
it’s serious,” Sheetrit said. “If a split were to happen, it would have to be
done behind the scenes, not in the news. I’m not saying it won’t happen in the
future. In Israeli politics, you can never say never, but it’s not happening
Kadima MK Yaakov Edri, who was involved in past attempts to split
the party, said he does not expect a split to happen.
colleague, MK Marina Solodkin, said the reports about Sheetrit had not surprised
her, because he had become increasingly independent in voting against
“Sheetrit has been isolated,” she said. “He knows
he has no future in Kadima.”
Sheetrit’s preferred method of dealing with
his party’s woes is to force Livni to initiate a leadership race. The Kadima
faction will meet Monday for the first time since Livni completed her meetings
with all 28 Kadima MKs in which she asked them when they recommend that the
primary be held.
The faction meeting is expected to be stormy because the
MKs will be discussing the party’s budget, which was the subject of
When Kadima MKs complained to Livni that they were
not told about budget allocations for 2011 until over half the year had passed,
they were told they would see allocations for 2012 by October.
months later, even though the Kadima faction is supposed to act as the party’s
board of directors, the MKs still have not seen their own party’s budget.
Sheetrit said he hopes MKs are given a full report on the budget on Monday
before they are asked to vote on it.