mofaz studious 224 88 ap.
(photo credit: AP)
Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz announced Thursday he was taking a "time-out" from politics following his loss in the Kadima primary, but he has yet to submit either a vacation request or his resignation from the cabinet or Knesset.
Due to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's resignation on Sunday, the government had become a transition government, and no minister, including Mofaz, can legally quit. However, Mofaz can quit the Knesset.
His assistants and colleagues have been unable to give any answers regarding the nature of his vacation or its length, but for now, Mofaz is still on the payroll. On Sunday, he skipped the cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office.
The Jerusalem Post has learned that no substitute has been appointed to head the Transportation Ministry in his absence.
The Prime Minister's Office had no answers either: "Cabinet Secretary Ovad Yehezkel said Mofaz has never submitted a formal request for a vacation, and therefore no substitute was appointed to replace him in the Transportation Ministry. It is Mofaz's responsibility to inform us how long he plans to be away."
According to the Knesset House Committee, an MK remains on the payroll until he submits a letter of resignation, while a minister's resignation takes 72 hours to take effect.
MKs get 26 vacation days per year, and can carry over 20 from each year, up to a total of 65. Ministers must inform the Prime Minister's Office when taking a vacation.
Knesset regulations require MKs to do their best to attend committee meetings while the legislature is in session. There is no such requirement during the legislature's recess.
Earlier on Sunday, Mofaz met at his Kochav Yair home with Construction and Housing Minister Ze'ev Boim, who had supported him in the Kadima leadership race.
After Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was declared the winner of the primary on Wednesday, Boim said the party should unite behind her and ensure the stability of the government.
Boim declined to discuss his meeting with Mofaz, but it is safe to assume he tried to convince the Transportation Minister to take his place as the No. 2 in Kadima and in the new government Livni is trying to form.
Mofaz did not show up to work on Sunday; instead he has held meetings with several ministers at his home over the past few days.
Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.