MK Amram Mitzna (Hatnuah) on Sunday blasted the head of his party, MK Tzipi Livni, over her intention to give the environmental protection portfolio to MK Amir Peretz.
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“The problem isn’t between me and Peretz, it is between the head of the party,” Mitzna told Army Radio. “There was a breach of faith here, and this kind of thing simply cannot be done.”
Nevertheless, Mitzna said he does not regret getting back into politics. “I will do everything I can to make a difference in the difficult reality we face,” he said. Asked whether he supported Hatnuah joining a coalition headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he said he “prefers not to discuss coalition matters. I think we’re still far from putting the government together.”
Following the joint statement by Livni and Netanyahu on Hatnuah’s joining the coalition, figures in the political world said they believed Mitzna would leave the Knesset if he is not appointed Hatnuah’s second minister. Officials in the party said Mitzna, who was number 2 on the Hatnuah slate, saw himself as a leading candidate for second minister and was insulted by the apparent decision to give the post to Peretz, who is expected to be made environmental protection minister.
Livni presented the coalition agreement last week at a tense meeting of Hatnuah MKs. A symptom of the tension was the fact that Mitzna refused to share Peretz’s outstretched hand as he wished Mitzna a happy birthday.
Mitzna, under pressure and hurt by reports that Peretz would become the second Hatnuah minister despite an explicit promise Linvi had made him, did not speak to the many reporters present on the subject.
During last week’s meeting Livni made clear that contrary to media reports she had not yet decided who would be the second Hatnuah minister. She also told the lawmakers that she and Netanyahu still had not decided which Knesset committee Hatnuah would chair and which of its MKs would head it.