Kadima MK Omri Sharon
turned in his resignation to Knesset
Speaker Reuven Rivlin's office Tuesday morning. Sharon had decided that he wanted to save his sentencing hearing for January 22 as a regular citizen and not as a Knesset member.
With Sharon's resignation, Kadima has lost an MK and now has the support of 18 MKs - 12 former Likud members, three formerly of Labor, and two independents.
The next name on the Likud list to replace Sharon in the Knesset was former Tel Aviv deputy mayor, Eitan Sulami, but he decided against joining the Knesset because he would not be able to run for the Likud Knesset slate in a slot reserved for a newcomer.
The next two names on the Likud list declined joining the Knesset for a similar reason, so former MK David Mena will end up replacing Omri Sharon in the Knesset.
Sources close to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
said on Monday that he intended to invite at least 12 new candidates to join his Kadima party's
Knesset slate over the next week, following the addition on Monday of six new recruits.
With the six new candidates, Kadima now had 32 people on its list, including the 18 current MKs, ministers Shaul Mofaz and Tzahi Hanegbi and 12 newcomers. Two new people were scheduled to join the party on Tuesday and more on Wednesday before Sharon took a break from compiling the list for his hospitalization on Thursday.
Sharon wanted to have a list of 45 to 50 candidates ready before Thursday, January 12, when the Likud, Shinui and the National Religious Party
select their Knesset slates.