Kadima likely to cancel primary election

A selection committee will determine Kadima list for next Knesset in move supported by Kadima faction chaiwoman.

Kadima MK Dalia Itzik 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Kadima MK Dalia Itzik 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Kadima will have a selection committee determine its list for the next Knesset instead of holding a primary, sources within the party said on Monday.
The party’s list was chosen by committee in 2006, but Kadima members voted in a primary in 2009.
Kadima faction chairwoman Dalia Itzik is leading the calls for party leader Shaul Mofaz to appoint a selection committee that will decide who will follow him on the list for the Knesset.
Of Kadima’s 28 MKs, only 10 are expected to make it into the next Knesset, according to recent polls.
By appointing a committee, Kadima could avoid a heated and expensive battle for its top seats, and Mofaz would not have to give seats he promised to activists that helped him get voted in as party chairman early this year.
Mofaz’s spokesman said talk of a committee is speculative, but other sources in Kadima said an official announcement is expected to come this week.
“I won’t say [a committee] is happening, because no final decision is made, but Kadima has very little time to prepare for the election,” which is set for September 4, MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima) explained.
Holding a primary would mean that MKs would spend the next month and a half focusing on themselves and not the party, Tirosh told the Knesset Channel, adding that she also asked Mofaz to appoint a committee.
Also on Monday, Yuval Tzelner was sworn in as a new Kadima MK, replacing former party leader Tzipi Livni.
Tzelner will be considered a MK until a new Knesset is sworn in two weeks after elections, and as such will receive a legislator’s salary and benefits until September.
The new MK, who served as former prime minister Ariel Sharon’s chief of staff, said after being sworn in that Kadima, under Mofaz’s leadership, is the only party that can lead the state.
“I am not sorry that I am entering the Knesset at this time. The election is more important than staying in the Knesset,” Tzelner added.