Mofaz slammed over Kadima primary bid

Mofaz slammed over prima

Almost a week after attempts to divide Kadima's fractious Knesset faction seemed to fizzle out, Kadima MKs railed against the party's No. 2, MK Shaul Mofaz, for attacking his rival Kadima leader Tzipi Livni and threatening to take the party to an early primary. In an interview published over the weekend in Haaretz, Mofaz accused Livni of defeating him in the 2008 primary through acts that "bordered on criminal" and said that the chairwoman was "not a leader" and was "pretentious." Mofaz's attack, however, did not necessarily end with the controversial interview. Sources claimed Friday that late last week Mofaz told Livni that if she did not hold an early primary for the divided party, he would lead a faction that would split away from Kadima. Later, Mofaz's office reiterated that he was loyal to Kadima, but was working toward a primary as soon as possible. Kadima MKs returned fire over the weekend. MK Yisrael Hasson said that Mofaz and would-be ex-Kadima MK Eli Aflalo, who officially filed his request to split from the party last Tuesday, "stained [the name of] an entire party" with allegations of primary wrongdoings on the part of Livni's election team. Aflalo himself was a member of the pro-Livni faction during the hotly contested primary, but since turned on his former candidate, accusing Livni loyalists of hanky-panky. "I do not accept it when a public servant claims to know of something 'bordering on criminal,' throws accusations like those, and then fails to put forward proof and take it to the police," added Hasson. Hasson was not alone in criticizing attempts to divide Kadima. MK Yohanan Plesner, speaking in Ramat Hasharon, focused his rhetoric on a more unifying topic for the party that leads the opposition. "Kadima would not bring down the government on the basis of advancements in the diplomatic process, and so the 'stinking maneuver' that [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu attempted was not simply lacking in any values, but was also politically unnecessary," complained Plesner.