After former MK Tzachi Hanegbi failed to form a split in Kadima and take seven of its MKs to the Likud party, it appears as though there is another attempt to split the party.
Channel 10 News reported on Monday evening that former party chairwoman Tzipi Livni and former MK Haim Ramon, one of the founders of Kadima, are trying to form their own split in the party. Ramon, who quit Kadima soon after it joined a unity government with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, recently announced that he will establish a new centrist party to compete with Kadima.
Hanegbi, along with Netanyahu, tried on Sunday and Monday to convince several of Kadima’s 28 MKs to leave the party and join the Likud. Some of the Kadima MKs were offered positions as ministers and deputy ministers in Netanyahu’s government as an incentive to leave.
The initiative failed, however, after Hanegbi failed to secure seven MKs for the split, as required by law. Kadima chairman MK Shaul Mofaz asked the Knesset's House Committee to approve a request to oust four of his party’s members from Kadima, after they confirmed they would leave with Hanegbi. The four MKs are Avi Duan, Otniel Schneller, Aryeh Bibi and Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich.
According to the Channel 10 report, Ramon and Livni foiled Hanegbi’s split by directly approaching some of the MKs who were considering splitting and asking them not to go with Hanegbi.
Meanwhile, Hanegbi himself announced on his Facebook page on Monday evening that he would be leaving Kadima and returning to the Likud. Hanegbi was one of many members who left the Likud when former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon split the party in 2005 to form Kadima.
“Some Kadima members felt the same way as I did, that the party’s leaving the government was a serious error,” he wrote. “I tried to bridge between them and the Likud. Unfortunately, some were afraid to act according to their conscience out of fear that they would not be placed in a realistic spot on the Likud’s list for the next Knesset.”