More Kadima infighting: Dichter blasts Livni in interview

Dichter claims Livni wastes funds, demands more transparency and says faction should openly decide where, how to allocate funds.

Avi Dichter 311 AJ (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Avi Dichter 311 AJ
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
MK Avi Dichter (Kadima) slammed opposition leader and party head Tzipi Livni for a lack of transparency and wasting party funds, signaling further tension in the Knesset’s largest faction, in an interview with Ma’ariv published on Friday.
“Why does Livni get a million shekels every year so she can have an office [in an expensive Ramat Gan office building]?” Dichter asked. “She has two other offices – in the Knesset and the party’s building. Why should another office take up 4 percent of the party’s funds?”
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Dichter explained that Kadima receives NIS 23 million from the state each year, a third of which is meant to pay off debts. Another third is for salaries. The party has a deficit of NIS 40m., Dichter said.
“We’ve suffered from a lack of transparency for years, which is why we have a major deficit,” Dichter said. “There are all sorts of ideologies in the party that only harm us. [MKs] Tzachi Hanegbi, Haim Ramon and Yoel Hasson say that budgets should be managed in secret, but I say the faction should decide how the budget is run.”
Dichter told Ma’ariv that Kadima director-general Moshe Shehori made decisions on salaries and expenses without consulting fellow MKs.
“No director-general wants people to intervene, but we’ll cut his rope short. Nothing will help him now,” Dichter said.
On Monday, Dichter led a group of MKs challenging Livni on transparency in a Kadima faction meeting following a Channel 10 investigative report, which showed that the party was paying its workers high salaries and not reporting to the Knesset how taxpayer money was being spent.
Dichter’s petition was signed by MKs Shaul Mofaz, Meir Sheetrit, Marina Solodkin, Yisrael Hasson, Yulia Shamolov-Berkovich, Shai Hermesh, Majallie Whbee, Gideon Ezra, Ya’acov Edri, Otniel Schneller, Orit Zuaretz, Arieh Bibi, Ronit Tirosh and Eli Aflalo – more than half of the faction’s lawmakers.
At the meeting, Livni said she agreed with Dichter and supported more transparency.
On other issues, Dichter said: “Livni only speaks for herself. She has never said anything that was agreed upon by Kadima. We’ve been in the opposition for two years, and we never had a discussion about core issues – not about diplomacy, social issues or money.”