Yechimovich to submit bill to dissolve Knesset

Labor leader calls on Netanyahu to declare early elections amid coalition crisis brought on by efforts to find Tal Law replacement.

July 3, 2012 19:06
3 minute read.
Labor head MK Shelly Yacimovich

Labor chairwoman MK Shelly Yacimovich 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Opposition leader Shelly Yechimovich and Labor MK Issac Herzog announced Tuesday that they are submitting a bill to dissolve the Knesset and initiate early elections.

Yechimovich had presented such a bill to the Knesset prior to Kadima entering the coalition in May. She decided to bring the bill to a vote again amid the coalition crisis brought on by efforts to find a replacement for the Tal Law.

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The Labor leader called Tuesday for Netanyahu to declare early elections immediately. "The elections were supposed to take place in September, but this natural process was prevented by the cynical, survivalist tactic carried out by the Likud and Kadima, which created a giant, ineffective coalition unable to come to a reasonable agreement, even in regard to the Tal Law."

Yechimovich added: "The public must now choose at the voting booth between the Likud under the leadership of Netanyahu and Labor under my leadership."

The Labor leader's announcement came after rebel Kadima MKs demanded on Tuesday that their party leave the government, with several vowing to vote against the coalition on all matters, following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s announcement that the Keshev Committee on equality in the burden of service will be disbanded.

“Starting tomorrow morning, I see myself as a member of the opposition, voting against the government," MK Shlomo Molla (Kadima) said. “The prime minister trampled Kadima’s dignity and made the committee irrelevant, choosing to collaborate with haredim and settlers.”

Molla called for Kadima to leave the coalition immediately, adding that the MKs that said the party must join the government and criticized former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni for not doing so now see they were mistaken and must apologize to her.

Kadima MKs Robert Tibayev and Nino Abesadze pointed out that they have been rebelling against their party since it joined the coalition, and will continue to do so.

Tibyaev currently cannot vote against the coalition, as Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz suspended him from proposing and voting on bills for a month after he repeatedly broke coalition discipline.

On Tuesday, Tibayev sent a letter to Mofaz and Kadima council chairman Shraga Brosh demanding that the council be called to a meeting to discuss leaving the government.

“The goal isn’t to split the party – it’s to leave the coalition and rehabilitate Kadima,” Tibayev explained.

“Kadima has no reason to be in this coalition, which is constantly evading responsibility,” Abesadze said. “We are at a point where the choice is equality in the burden or elections.”

The Kadima MK said she will continue voting against the coalition, in order to represent “the real stances of Kadima voters.”

Abesadze called on other Kadima MKs to leave the coalition and “find more worthy ideological platforms.”

Yechimovich expressed support for the Kadima rebels, calling the Kadima-Likud coalition cynical and lacking in values, founded only for reasons of political survival.

“This partnership proved to be worthless at the first test,” she stated. “MKs that are not willing to make a mockery of themselves and be part of the farce are praiseworthy.”

As Labor did last month with Tibayev, the party will allow Molla and Abesadze to submit bills via its allotment if they are punished by Mofaz.

Former Kadima council chairman Haim Ramon said Tuesday that he intends to found a new centrist political party to unseat Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu. "There's an alternative that must replace Netanyahu," he said in an interview with Army Radio. Ramon quit Kadima over its decision to join Netanyahu's coalition in May.

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