Kadima forms 'shadow government'

Like in UK, former ministers will return to previous roles, and provide alternative to coalition policies.

Livni flag 248.88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
Livni flag 248.88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Kadima leader Tzipi Livni finally formed a "government" on Monday, seven months after failing to build a real coalition when she had the opportunity to do so in October. This time what she formed was a "shadow government," modeled after its namesake in the United Kingdom. The shadow ministers will head task forces of Kadima MKs that will set the party's agenda in their areas of expertise and respond to the government's actions on related issues. Most of Kadima's former ministers will return to the roles that they held in the last government in a shadow capacity. For instance, Ronnie Bar-On will be Kadima's shadow finance minister, former interior minister Meir Sheetrit will be in charge of matters related to local authorities and Avi Dichter will head the party's task force on internal security. The one former minister who will not hold the same "post" is former transportation minister Shaul Mofaz, who will be Kadima's shadow defense minister. Marina Solodkin, who was betrayed by Ehud Olmert when portfolios were distributed in the last government, came close to receiving the job Ariel Sharon promised her when Livni appointed her shadow absorption minister. MKs who have never been ministers will be in charge of matters they dealt with in a professional capacity. For instance, MK Ronit Tirosh, a former Education Ministry director-general, will be shadow education minister, and MK Orit Adato, who is a former hospital deputy director-general received the Health "portfolio." Livni, a former foreign affairs and justice minister, kept for herself all matters related to foreign affairs, the Middle East conflict and the need to draft a constitution. The only Kadima MKs not appointed to shadow ministries were faction head Dalia Itzik and MKs Tzahi Hanegbi and Yoel Hasson, who head Knesset committees. "We will watch over the ministers in the current government and provide an active alternative to everything they do," a Kadima spokesman said.