Braverman set to chair Finance Committee

The long-awaited appointment of Labor MK Avishay Braverman as Knesset Finance Committee chairman is expected to be approved on Tuesday by the Knesset's House Committee and Finance Committee. Braverman will replace Israel Beiteinu MK Stas Meseznicov, who has held on to the post despite his party's departure from the coalition in January. The appointment had been delayed until now, because Shas was blocking it. But a majority for the appointment without Shas has apparently been found on both committees. Braverman's appointment is expected to be the first stage in a series of political moves. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will soon ask the Knesset to approve the appointments of Minister-without-Portfolio Ruhama Avraham (Kadima) as tourism minister and Kadima faction chairman Eli Aflalo as Negev and Galilee development minister. Shas has tried to block the appointments in an effort to obtain a raise in child allowances and to protest what it called "Kadima and Labor's wheeling and dealing at the expense of the taxpayers." -