C'tee unlikely to vote to impeach Katsav

Avraham: Six members will not be allowed to vote; hearing won't be public.

jp.services2 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
The chances of President Moshe Katsav being voted out of office decreased significantly after Knesset House Committee chairwoman Ruhama Avraham announced Tuesday evening that six committee members would not be allowed to participate in the proceedings. Avraham said that the MKs in question, Shai Hermesh (Kadima); Yoram Marciano (Labor); Moshe Sharoni (GIL); Ahmad Tibi (UAL); Eliyahu Gabbai (NU-NRP); and Leah Shemtov (Israel Beitenu) would be prohibited from voting because they had consistently been absent from the committee's discussions on the Katsav case. The House Committee, charged with all the procedural aspects of a legislative decision on Katsav's future as president, was expected to hold its last hearing Wednesday. Army Radio reported that the proceedings would take place behind closed doors. Over a month ago, the House Committee voted unanimously in favor of the proposed procedure for impeachment, which require Katsav's attorneys to appear at the hearing and plead his case. According to a poll conducted by The Jerusalem Post, there is currently no majority to impeach Katsav in either the committee or plenum. Nineteen of the 25 committee MKs would need to vote in favor of impeachment and 90 of 120 plenum members. Currently the United Torah Judaism Party, and most of the Shas and Israel Beiteinu Parties would vote against impeachment. Sheera Claire Frenkel contributed to this report.