Livni: Delay in primary will cause collapse

FM says holdup in changing Kadima constitution to enable race may cost party what little faith public has.

Olmert livni cabinet 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Olmert livni cabinet 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had harsh criticism for the Kadima council on Sunday over its delay in changing Kadima's constitution in order to enable a party primary to take place in September. "If we don't want to lose what little faith there remains in Kadima, we must send out a united call to council members to support the decision to set a date for primaries, as was agreed with the Labor Party faction," she said at a Kadima faction meeting. The motion requires 91 votes out of the council's 180 members in order to pass, but so far, only around 70 votes have been submitted. The vote is scheduled to end on Sunday night, but may be extended by several days in order to allow for the motion to be approved. "Kadima must assume responsibility, especially due to talk that people have been approached and asked not to vote. If we don't approve it and stall, it will cause the collapse of the party," she said. Livni also warned that this could lead to an "intolerable situation in which other parties will need to respond to Kadima's actions." Prime Minister Ehud Olmert retorted that "we've already called on everyone to come and vote." "I'm the one who brought forward the decision to hold primaries and authorized the issue in accordance with my authority. I ask that people not preach [to me] and hurt Kadima's standing through manipulations," Olmert said.