Litzman refuses to go unless he is voted out
Yitzhaki says Knesset will begin process of removing Finance Committee chairman.
By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
March 1, 2007 02:03
1 minute read.
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Coalition chairman Avigdor Yitzhaki met with Knesset Finance Committee chairman Ya'acov Litzman on Wednesday but failed to persuade him to give up his job.
Israel Beiteinu received the chairmanship of the committee in last week's coalition reshuffle. Israel Beiteinu head Avigdor Lieberman decided to give the post to freshman MK Stas Meseznecov, who attended the meeting with Yitzhaki.
"I wanted Litzman to leave willingly, but he said he would go only if he was voted out," Yitzhaki said after the meeting.
Yitzhaki said the Knesset House Committee would convene on Tuesday to begin the process of removing Litzman. Yitzhaki said Litzman promised him that he would convene the finance committee shortly thereafter to bring his removal to a vote.
There is currently no majority in the committee to remove Litzman, because five coalition MKs intends to vote against his ousting.
Yitzhaki said he would overcome the obstacle by persuading Kadima MK David Tal to vote in favor and by obligating Labor to temporarily replace its two rebellious MKs on the committee, Shelly Yacimovich and Orit Noked.
Lieberman apologized for taking away Litzman's job. But he said Israel Beiteinu gave up a committee chairmanship when it joined the coalition and it could not be left without one.
"I respect Litzman, who is one of the most serious MKs in the Knesset," Lieberman told reporters in the Knesset. "But there is no precedent for the finance committee being controlled by the opposition."
Asked whether it was a problem to appoint an unproven MK like Meseznecov to such an important financial post, Lieberman said: "Litzman wasn't exactly a successful businessman or the governor of the bank of Israel either. Stas is young, dynamic and energetic, and he will do a good job."