(photo credit: Miiam Alster)
MK Meir Sheetrit (Kadima) threw his support behind leadership candidate Shaul
Mofaz on Wednesday, saying that party leader Tzipi Livni is responsible for
Kadima’s expected drop in Knesset seats.
The veteran politician said that
Livni deserves credit for getting Kadima 28 seats in the last elections, but
that she was unable to form a government, and that the party continues to drop
in the polls. A recent poll showed the Knesset’s largest party receiving only 12
seats after the next election.
One of the reasons for Kadima’s decline is
Livni’s indecision on major issues, according to Sheetrit.
“We have to
give someone else a chance and make a change,” he said at a press conference in
“The only alternative with a chance of winning and making a
change is Shaul Mofaz. Without that change, Kadima will not reach its
goals in the next elections.”
If Kadima chooses Mofaz in its March 27
primary, and “acts according to our principles,” the party will win the next
election, Sheetrit said.
He explained that Mofaz’s experience as defense
minister and IDF chief of staff will make him a formidable opponent to Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
“Kadima needs to fight politically, or we
will disappear, like Shinui,” he added.
Sheetrit insisted that neither
Mofaz nor Livni promised him a position should they win, in order to convince
him to take a side.
The MK also called for Livni not to quit should Mofaz
win, as she has promised.
Following the press conference, Livni’s office
said that she will win Kadima’s leadership once again, and the party will regain
the public’s faith as an alternative to the Netanyahu government.
Monday, Prof. Yossi Shain, chairman of diplomacy studies at Tel Aviv
University, announced that he is joining Kadima, supports Livni and has not
ruled out running with Kadima for the next Knesset.