moshe sharoni 224 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Gil Pensioners Party is on the verge of a split after the faction voted on Monday to overthrow the faction's outspoken whip, MK Moshe Sharoni.
The seven-MK faction voted four to three to oust Sharoni after he violated coalition discipline and pushed to pass a bill that would raise old-age payments by 20 percent.
Sharoni had been warned before that there would be consequences if he continued to act independently and defy the government and the faction. MK Yitzhak Galantee will take Sharoni's place.
Sharoni was outraged by the decision. He said he would consider breaking off from Gil along with MKs Elhanan Glazer and Sarah Marom-Shalev, who voted against his ouster.
"It was a putsch against me and it caught me by surprise," Sharoni said. "I didn't believe that the pensioners affairs minister [Rafi Eitan] would stop me from trying to help the pensioners."
Gil MKs said they were also upset with Sharoni for making inappropriate statements criticizing the government, the courts and female parliamentary assistants.
Meanwhile, in the room next door, Labor's former faction whip, MK Yoram Marciano, lashed out at party secretary-general Eitan Cabel, for the delay in electing a replacement for him.
"I was removed from my post because there were complaints that the party was not being managed correctly," Marciano said during Labor's faction meeting. "Now we have no management at all."
Cabel, who was chairing the meeting at the time, told Marciano that Labor chairman Ehud Barak, who is in Washington, was handling the issue and that he should "be patient." "Maybe it is not patience," retorted Marciano. "Maybe there are people here, in the leadership, whose shoes are too big for them." Marciano was removed from his position following Barak's victory in the June Labor leadership primary.
Glazer said the Gil split might have to wait for March, because according to the law, breakoff factions are not eligible for government funding until half of the Knesset's term has passed.