Min. Uzi Landau
Min. Uzi LandauFlash 90

Tourism Minister Uzi Landau (Yisrael Beytenu) announced his resignation from politics Sunday evening.

Speaking at a Yisrael Beytenu faction meeting, Landau revealed he did not intend to run in the coming elections next March.

"I spoke with the foreign minister (Avigdor Liberman) and informed him that I would not be presenting my candidacy for the upcoming Knesset race," Landau said.

"My public activities have spanned some 31 years, I served in key positions in the Knesset and government, among them - in the last six (years) - with Yisrael Beytenu," he added. 

"During this period I took part in discussions (concerning) the most important initiatives and decisions of the state. I see myself as continuing to participate and contribute, but for me the time has come to move on from outside of the parliamentary system.

"Yisrael Beytenu, led by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, is of central importance to the emerging political system. I want to thank him on our many years of joint activities. Of course, I will support and assist in the elections campaign as requested of me."

Apart from the tourism ministry, Landau's long career has included stints as internal security minister, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, chairman of the State Control Committee, and minister of national infrastructure, energy and water, among other senior positions.

The surprise announcement comes in the midst of a corruption scandal that has rocked the Yisrael Beytenu party - although there is no suggestion that Landau was involved, or that his resignation is in any way related to it.

The past several weeks have seen a spate of resignations by MKs - although most of them have come from Tzipi Livni's rapidly diminishing Hatnua party.