Shochat May Remain in Knesset After All

Labor MK Avraham Shochat, who was to have resigned his Knesset seat tomorrow, is said to be reconsidering the move out of concern that his absence from the Judicial Appointments Committee may result in a political "grab" by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

If Shochat resigns from the legislature, his place on the committee is likely to be filled by an MK from the right who will support Livni's choice for the Supreme Court - Professor Ruth Gavison.

Under the coalition agreement, Shochat's committee seat should be filled by a Labor MK; however, following the resignation of the Labor ministers from the cabinet, the Likud has refused to honor the agreement.

Labor lawmakers yesterday asked Shochat to reconsider his resignation so as to prevent the move by Livni.

Another reason for Shochat to remain in the Knesset, senior Labor members said yesterday, was the fact that his designated replacement, Sofa Landwer, is said to be preparing to join Avigdor Lieberman's Knesset faction, and to take her portion of election funding with her.

Shochat said he had not been asked to reconsider for this reason, and nor would he do so. Livni's bureau responded that the date for the meeting of the Judicial Appointments Committee had been set a long time ago.