Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Channel 1: 5-6 KAdima MK's agreed to Join Likud; Netanyahu associates: Livni herself causing strife

( Six Knesset members from Kadima signed their initials on an agreement with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for leaving their party and joining his government, Channel 1 reported Wednesday night. According to the report, MK Eli Aflalo told Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni Tuesday that he intends to leave the party, either as a one-man faction or to join Likud.

The Prime Minister's associates reportedly promised the defectors several ministerial portfolios, as well as deputy-ministerships and the chair of a Knesset committee. Portfolios that were mentioned include the Minister for Jerusalem, Minister for the Negev and Galilee, Minister of the Broadcasting Authority, and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

According to the report, there are also promises of a future appointment as Chairman of the Israel Lottery (Mifal HaPayis) and Chairman of the Israel Bonds.

Sources close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted this evening to opposition leader Tzipi Livni's claims that Netanyahu is trying to cause a rift in the Kadima party. "Livni is behaving in a truly hypocritical fashion. She herself is tirelessly try to divide the Labor party by spreading around promises in an attempt to lure various Labor MK's to join Kadima."

A senior official close to the prime minister added, "Livni's problem is not Netanyahu, but her own lack of leadership. Someone who is unable to lead her own party should not complain to the prime minister".