Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua (the movement) party received an additional boost on Sunday when MK Meir Sheetrit became the seventh person to depart Kadima in order to join the former party head’s newly formed slate.
Sheetrit’s announcement came a week after Kadima MKs Yoel Hasson, Rachel Adatto, Majallie Whbee, Orit Zuaretz, Robert Tiviaev, and Shlomo Molla all decided to join Livni’s list.
With the addition of of Sheetrit, the seven were able to officially sign on board on Sunday, significantly bolstering Livni’s centrist list and bringing with them much-needed campaign funds allocated to serving MKs.
Under the law, at least seven MKs must band together to break off from a party that has more than 21 seats.
Former IDF General Elazar Stern and former Netanyahu aide Yoaz Hendel are also now reportedly forming a new political party with plans of then joining Livni’s party in exchange for high spots on her slate.
On Saturday night, former Labor Party leader Amram Mitzna, a reservist brigadier general and former mayor of Haifa, announced that he too would join Hatnua ahead of the upcoming January 22 elections. Mitzna, who resigned from the party in 2003, after losing the national elections to Ariel Sharon, served for five years as the acting mayor of the southern town of Yeruham. On Sunday, Mitzna said Livni constituted the only credible alternative to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Meirav Cohen, a Jerusalem city council member and prominent social activist, joined Livni’s party last week, as did diplomat Daniel Shek and Boaz Nol, a leader of the movement that spearheaded the struggle for universal conscription.
Former state comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss was reportedly approached by Livni as well, but he announced on Sunday that he would not be joining Hatnua.
Hatnua is expected to garner some 6-8 seats in the upcoming elections.
The Knesset on Monday is to approve the breakaway of the seven Kadima MKs.
Ironically, the law allowing the breakaway is named for current Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz, who advocated that larger factions should need only seven MKs and not one-third to break off.
In May, just weeks after Mofaz took over the party leadership, Kadima newcomer Yuval Zellner proposed a “Confinement Law,” which would have restored the previous law. Mofaz himself shelved Zellner’s bill.