Pnina Rosenblum likely to turn down Knesset seat

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
November 15, 2005 23:37
3 minute read.

If troubled Likud MKs Omri Sharon and Yehiel Hazan resign from the Knesset, the next name on the Likud list is cosmetics queen Pnina Rosenblum - but don't expect her to join this Knesset. Neither Sharon nor Hazan are expected to be forced to resign their posts by the time the Knesset would likely disperse itself. But if Sharon or Hazan decide to quit, Rosenblum is likely to decide against entering the Knesset. The reason is that there are 15 slots on the Likud list that are reserved for candidates who have never been an MK. If Rosenblum enters the Knesset - even for one day - she would be disqualified from seeking those slots. Rosenblum would instead have to compete against all of the Likud's 40 current MKs, plus Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and former minister Natan Sharansky, who are not MKs, for some 25 slots on the list that are considered realistic. Rosenblum, who is in Hong Kong, could not be reached, but she is expected to turn down entering the current Knesset for a chance to serve a full term in the next one. The next people on the Likud list, Tel Aviv's Eitan Sulami and Tzion Pinyan of Tiberias, are also running for the next Knesset and would undoubtedly turn down entering the Knesset for a term that might be only a few days long. Such a turn of events would catapult former MK David Mena into the Knesset. Mena, who was an MK from 1992 to 1996, is 43rd on the list. Although he is also running for the next Knesset, as a former MK he would have nothing to lose by entering the Knesset now. Mena made headlines this week when he initiated a petition to reserve the second slot on the Likud list for former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in return for him dropping out of the Likud leadership race. He said he would jump at the chance to enter the current Knesset and that returning to the national limelight wouldn't hurt his election chances. "Of course I would enter the Knesset," Mena said. "I would be glad to have the opportunity to do my part to ease the gap between rich and poor in this country and I think I can do that even if I join the Knesset briefly."


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