Pensioners' Party Dismisses Knesset Faction Whip Moshe Sharoni

Sharoni dismissed for independently pushing bill to increase pensioners' stipend, controversial statements.

The Pensioners' Party dismissed its Knesset faction whip Moshe Sharoni on Monday, due to the fact that he advanced a bill to increase the pensioners' stipend opposed by party Chairman Rafi Eitan.

The dismissal was conducted in surprising fashion at Eitan's initiative ? and five minutes before the conclusion of the faction meeting.

Sharoni was independently promoting the bill in the Knesset Labor and Welfare Committee, while Eitan was in favor of cooperating with the government on the issue.

Four Pensioners MKs voted in favor of the dismissal, and three voted against, including Sharoni himself. MK Yitzhak Galanti was elected to replace Sharoni.

It is still unclear whether party members intend to dismiss Sharoni as chairman of the Knesset Labor and Welfare Committee as well.

In response, Sharoni threatened to quit and form his own independent faction, saying he could garner the necessary support of three faction members.

"This is ugly and dirty underhanded opportunism," said Sharoni. "Eitan is not worthy of being pensioners' minister. No law is more just than mine. I am considering forming a separate faction, and I think I will succeed."

According to Eitan's office, Sharoni was in part dismissed due to controversial statements he made, among others regarding female parliamentary workers, that were embarrassing for the party.