Yuval Zellner, a newly-minted Kadima party Knesset member who took his seat last week, is demanding that the leader of his party, Shaul Mofaz, bring any agreement that would have Kadima join the Labor Party-Hatnuah slate in the March 17 Knesset election to Kadima party institutions for their approval.
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“As a democratic party, we demand that Mofaz submit the decision, whatever it may be, for the approval of Kadima institutions. This involves public funds,” Zellner said.
Mofaz’s contacts with Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog and Hatnuah leader Tzipi Livni have prompted criticism among key people in Kadima, who oppose linking up with Labor in what they see as an abandonment of the political center in favor of the left.
Zellner became a Knesset member following the resignation of Israel Hasson, who was appointed head of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Although at its peak Kadima, which was founded by the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, was the largest party in parliament, it currently has only two seats in the 120-member legislature.
In recent private conversations, Mofaz has hinted that he is coming under pressure to get addition reserved spots on the Labor Party slate for Kadima candidates in addition to a spot that would be reserved for Mofaz himself as No. 11. Officials in Labor and Hatnuah have not year decided whether to have Kadima join their slate.
An extensive examination is currently under way to try to gauge Mofaz’s drawing power among the voters and whether the ticket could garner additional seats in parliament with him. The Labor Party has been looking fill a slot on the slate for a candidate with major military credentials and have deliberated between Mofaz, who is a former defense minister and Israel Defense Force chief of staff, and reserve Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, a former head of military intelligence and air force officer.