Katsav does not back convergence referendum

However he did state that a referendum would not undermine the authority of the Knesset.

May 5, 2006 02:52
katsav 298.88

katsav 298.88. (photo credit: AP [file])


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The Hebrew media were in a flurry on Thursday, with reports in certain quarters that President Moshe Katsav had advocated a referendum prior to the implementation of the convergence plan. On Thursday evening, Katsav's spokeswoman Hagit Cohen categorically denied that he had made a statement linking convergence with a referendum. Some 15 months ago, when interviewed on Israel Radio about whether there should be a referendum prior to the disengagement from the Gaza Strip, Katsav had been careful not to violate his apolitical role by expressing his personal opinion. However he did state that a referendum would not undermine the authority of the Knesset, because only the Knesset could decide on the holding of a referendum. Yet a year before that, Katsav had told reporters that he supported a referendum. "If the political leadership cannot make a decision in a more democratic manner, it might broaden the rifts in Israeli society," he said. "A referendum is a good tool to measure the true will of the people." Prior to the elections earlier this year, Katsav said that their outcome would be tantamount to a referendum.

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