Pensioners head moves to oust 'rebels'

Such a move would bar Sharoni and other 3 rebels from joining other factions, or serving as minister.

sharoni 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
sharoni 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
In yet another unexpected move in the drama surrounding the breakaway faction of the Gil Pensioners Party, faction chairman Yitzhak Galanti submitted a request to the House Committee on Tuesday to declare breakaway leader MK Moshe Sharoni as having resigned from the party. Although it may sound like a technicality, especially since Sharoni himself is in the midst of a process to have his group of three "rebels" recognized as a new faction by the same committee, the declaration would carry weighty significance. Were it to be approved, Sharoni would be prohibited from joining any other faction in the current Knesset, serving as a minister or assistant minister, running in the next elections as a candidate for a party currently in the Knesset, and receiving funding as a member of a party. Galanti, also spoke to Attorney General Mazuz Tuesday night requesting that an urgent investigation of Sharoni and Gaydamak be opened. This comes in light of the active political cooperation between the two men. The background of Galanti's complaint came as Knesset legal advisor, Nurit Alstein, raised concerns that Gil faction dissenters broke the law in their agreement between the two sides. Galanti's request was based on two separate justifications: that "for a number of months Sharoni has maligned the party and has been acting against the policy of the party," and that he has failed to participate in Pensioners Party meetings. Galanti has requested that Sharoni's resignation be approved retroactively to October 2007, a full half-year before Sharoni announced that he intended to split from the party and join Arkadi Gaydamak's Social Justice ticket. House Committee chairman David Tal, who on Monday presided over a stormy debate surrounding the committee's approval of Sharoni's breakaway faction, said he would only permit a hearing on Galanti's request if the Pensioners Party presented a detailed description - including evidence - of Sharoni's actions. The Pensioners faction chairman also took advantage of Sharoni's recent withdrawal of his request for the new faction's approval, to exercise his right as faction chairman to remove Sharoni and fellow Pensioners rebel MKs Sarah Marom-Shalev and Elhanan Glazer from most of the committees on which they served. "Galanti's request testifies to his complete loss of sanity," replied Sharoni's office in response to the latest developments. "He is trying to attack the request submitted for a split. Sharoni was faithful the whole time to the coalition agreement that was signed between Gil and the prime minister, an agreement that was never carried out." The House Committee is still awaiting a reworked coalition agreement between Sharoni's faction and Gaydamak. Sharoni pulled his request to have his new faction recognized after funding details in the deal threatened to sink the vote on the split.