Bibi tells ministers to resign as Likud picks MKs

Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu ordered the four Likud ministers to resign from the cabinet on Thursday, implementing a decision he made a week ago that was suspended by Sharon's stroke. Netanyahu said that because Kadima has returned to political activity, there was no reason to delay the ministers' departure. He said the Likud must present an alternative to Kadima's policies, which he warned would lead to the division of Jerusalem. The decision was seen as a power play against the ministers, who had hoped to remain in the cabinet until after the March 28 election. Netanyahu used Kadima's recent political maneuvers as an excuse to take the party out of Sharon's coalition and assume the position of opposition leader. Netanyahu announced his decision the night before the Likud's 3012 central committee members were set to go to the polls on Thursday at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds to select the men and women who will be on the Likud's Knesset slate. Results are expected be available by 10:30 pm Thursday night.