Kadima crumbling: Prominent MKs quit, only one-third remain
Dalia Itzik, Ya'akov Edrey, and Roni Bar-On have informed Mofaz they are taking a break from politics; seven breakaway MKs have already joined Livni's movement.
Sixteen out of 28 Kadima MKs have left the party, either following former chairwoman Tzipi Livni to her new Hatnuah movement or quitting politics altogether.
MK Dalia Itzik informed current Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz on Wednesday that she had decided to take a break from political life, and would not be contending in the next election. Itzik's move came not long after she failed to convince former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to return to politics and run in the election.
MKs Roni Bar-On and Ya'akov Edrey delivered similar messages to the Kadima chair.
Seven Kadima MKs recently quit the party to join Livni's new movement: Meir Sheetrit, Yoel Hasson, Rachel Adatto, Shlomo Molla, Orit Zuaretz, Majali Wahabi and Robert Tiviaev. Former Labor Party chairman Amram Mitzna has also joined Hatnuah.
MK Ruchama Avraham has also retired from politics, and Avi Dichter resigned from the Knesset and left Kadima in August 2012 in order to become Minister of Home Front Defense.
Hatnuah stands to receive NIS 800,000 for every MK who joins - a total of NIS 5.6 million. This comes on top of the NIS 1 million that Livni has secured by using the infrastructure of Hetz, a party that failed to make it into the Knesset in the 2006 election.
Sheetrit is expected to get fourth place on the ticket and become a minister if the party joins the next government.
Former Labor Party leader Amram Mitzna has been promised second place, and Hasson has been promised a high place.
If the polls are correct and Livni's party doesn't win more than 10 seats, the five Kadima defectors other than Hasson and Sheetrit are not guaranteed a return to the Knesset.
Livni is still holding talks with Maj. Gen (ret.) Elazar Stern and journalist Yoaz Hendel, who might go high on the slate.
The list might also include Brig. Gen. (ret.) Israela Oron, Jerusalem city council member Meirav Cohen, former MK Rabbi Michael Melchior, former ambassador to France Daniel Shek, and a representative of the Green Movement.
Livni is also awaiting an answer from Brig. Gen. (ret.) Yitzhak Ben Yisrael, journalist Ben Dror Yemini, former police chief Moshe Karadi and social activist Yuval Elbashan. Former State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss and Brig. Gen. (ret. ) Shlomo Yanai have turned down Livni's invitation to join her.
Commenting on allegations that some candidates in the new party hold hawkish views, Livni said anyone who joins her would support the two-state solution.
"The founding idea behind the movement is to safeguard Israel's Jewish and democratic values," she said. "I believe the political solution reflects these principles. Anyone who joins the party will agree and embrace these principles."
MKs Yohanan Plessner, Ronit Tirosh, Yisrael Hasson, Marina Solodokin, Yuval Zelner, Akram Hasson, Ahmed Dabah, Avi Doan, Shai Harmash, Doron Avital, Otniel Schneller and Ze'ev Bielski will remain in Kadima.