avigdor yitzhaki 298.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
For the first time in Kadima's history, at least two of its MKs will not vote against motions of no-confidence in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government on Monday when the Knesset begins its summer session.
MK Avigdor Yitzhaki, who quit his job as coalition chairman after calling for Olmert's resignation on Wednesday, intends to abstain on at least two no-confidence motions protesting the government's handling of the Second Lebanon War. He said he would consider voting with the coalition on a motion submitted by Meretz, but would abstain on bills submitted by the Likud and the National Union-National Religious Party.
MK Marina Solodkin intends to join Yitzhaki's protest and other Kadima MKs are also expected to vote with their feet and absent themselves from the no-confidence votes.
"I asked the prime minister nicely to quit and he said no," Solodkin said. "It's too close to the earthquake of the Winograd Report for me to support the government. Either I will abstain or I will have a headache and go back to my hotel."
One Kadima MK who will support the government is Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee head Michael Nudelman, who last week called upon Olmert to quit and then retracted his statement two hours later. Political sources confirmed a report in the Makor Rishon newspaper that the reason for the reversal was that Olmert threatened to take away Nudelman's committee chairmanship.
The no-confidence motions are not expected to threaten Olmert's premiership, because his coalition numbers 78 MKs, well over the minimum majority of 61. Even if the 11 Labor MKs who are not ministers or deputy ministers voted no-confidence, the motions would still not pass.
Kadima officials expressed confidence that Olmert had withstood the political threats to his premiership. "Relative to last week, this government is safe now," a Kadima official said.
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