PM tries to stop Pensioners party split

Meets with the party's seven MKs in an attempt to maintain the stability of his coalition partner.

olmert cabinet 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
olmert cabinet 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met with the seven Pensioners Party MKs on Monday in an attempt to prevent a split in the faction that could cause instability in his coalition. Olmert listed what his government had done to help senior citizens and promised to implement many of the rest of the Pensioners Party's campaign promises in the 2009 state budget. He urged the faction has to stay unified. "Parties have ups and downs, and now it's time for you to go back up," Olmert said. Olmert's promises were not good enough for embittered MK Moshe Sharoni, who has threatened to split the faction and perhaps join the new Social Justice Party of Russian billionaire Arkadi Gaydamak. "We just drank and ate cake while the prime minister blabbed," Sharoni said. "He didn't convince me. I know all of his promises by heart." The faction has to decide after Pessah whether to stay in the coalition. I'm still considering all my options for the future." Other Pensioners MKs said they were also disappointed with Olmert's promises, but they were not upset enough to leave the faction or the coalition. "I'm not satisfied with what the prime minister said, but I haven't given up either," MK Elhanan Glazer said. "Regardless of the meeting, I'm not considering leaving." Gaydamak told Army Radio on Monday that he would soon have his own faction in the Knesset that would include MKs from the Pensioners Party, Labor and Israel Beiteinu.