Finance C'tee leadership threatens Kadima's coalition

Yisrael Beiteinu threatens to bolt if gov't moves to appoint 3 ministerial nominees before dealing with Litzman's replacement.

yaaco litzman serious298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
yaaco litzman serious298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Yisrael Beiteinu threatened Tuesday to bolt the coalition if the government moved to appoint three ministerial nominees before dealing with the question of who will head the Finance Committee. The threat followed a decision earlier in the day by House Committee Chairman Ruhama Avraham (Kadima) to delay a vote to replace the current chairman, MK Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism), with MK Stas Meseznikov (Yisrael Beiteinu) after she saw that the coalition had failed to garner support for the move. A Kadima party spokesman downplayed the threat and the coalition's failure to push through Meseznikov's appointment. A spokesman for Meseznikov also said opposition to the move was not that serious and the appointment would soon sail through. But the spokesman of at least one of the committee members who opposed the move, MK Moshe Sharoni (Gil Pensioners), said the lawmaker was not changing his mind. Coalition Chairman MK Avigdor Yitzhaki (Kadima) had asked Litzman to step down from the committee voluntarily after UTJ did not join the coalition. But, Litzman refused saying that his leadership of the committee was "impeccable" and should remain unchallenged. On Tuesday, Litzman appeared to be correct as members of the Gil Pensioners Party joined several Labor MKs in voting with the opposition against the move. The coalition will now need to ask the Knesset House Committee to issue a recommendation to the Finance Committee to replace Litzman, where Litzman himself will need to conduct a vote for a new chairman. In the Finance Committee, Labor MKs Shelly Yacimovich and Orit Noked must both be convinced to approve Litzman's move before the coalition can pass it. Until that entire procedure happens, the coalition cannot proceed with the cabinet shake-up that it had planned, namely appointing MK Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Israel Beiteinu) as tourism minister, and Labor MK Isaac Herzog as social welfare minister and Labor MK Ghaleb Majadele as science and technology minister.