Livni: Kadima rebellions are over

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
February 23, 2010 10:48
2 minute read.

Kadima leader Tzipi Livni celebrated the failure of her political rivals’ attempts to force an early leadership race on the party on Monday, saying she believed the rebellions in Kadima were over.

MKs Shaul Mofaz and Avi Dichter, who lost the December 2008 race to Livni, failed in their efforts to draft a majority in their faction into advancing the next race from the summer of 2013 to 2010.

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At Monday’s faction meeting, Dichter proposed forming a committee of MKs that would examine general changes to Kadima’s constitution, including who should comprise the Kadima council and when the party should hold a primary if it does not win a general election.

But Livni said such a committee was unnecessary because Kadima’s house committee, led by MK Tzahi Hanegbi, was already in charge of such things. Mofaz urged that a vote not be held on Dichter’s proposal, because there was not a majority to pass it. The proposal is expected to be defeated next week.

Livni told The Jerusalem Post after the meeting that Kadima would “return to being a normal party, where the number two wants to replace the number one, but he accepts that he cannot.”

Mofaz spoke in the faction meeting about the need to respect ideological differences in the party on issues like giving tax benefits to residents of the Golan Heights, which passed in the Knesset two weeks ago with the support of most Kadima MKs despite Livni’s opposition. Livni countered that being part of a party meant that differences on ideological issues were negligible.

“The attempt to wrap political ambition in ideology is so transparent, it’s ridiculous,” Livni said.

Livni also blasted Mofaz’s attempt to obtain the support of half the faction to join the government. With 15 of Kadima’s 28 MKs, Mofaz could have taken control over the party, its name, and institutions.

She said such a move would have been unethical after 750,000 people voted for Kadima under her leadership.

MK Eli Aflalo, Livni’s fiercest critic in Kadima, cautioned Livni against resting on her laurels. He said his next move would be to force her to react to former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s proposal to divide Jerusalem at Wednesday’s Kadima council meeting and an upcoming meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

“I have no intention of letting her take it easy,” Aflalo said.


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