Senior Kadima MK Meir Sheetrit is reportedly negotiating to become chairman of the Gil Pensioners’ party.

Sheetrit, 64, who held various ministerial positions in previous Likud governments before joining Kadima, was reportedly invited by Gil Pensioners’ party founder and leader Rafi Eitan to become its chairman.

The Gil Pensioners’ Party was founded ahead of the 17th Knesset elections in 2006 and surprised many by winning seven parliamentary seats. The party split when three members left to form their own party, and neither faction succeeded in gaining any seats in the 18th Knesset.

Sheetrit’s move would add him to a growing list of Kadima party members who have announced that they were abandoning the party for other factions. The wave of desertions is powered by dismal poll results that predict Kadima will score single-digit seats in the coming elections, at best, and the absence of an announcement from former party leaders Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni that they intend to return to politics.

Last week MK Nahman Shai, who gained fame as the Israel Defense Forces spokesman during the 1991 Gulf War, announced that he was leaving Kadima to join the Labor Party list.

“This is the time to think big and act big,” Shai said of his move. “The Labor party offers a clear and definite alternative to the Netanyahu-Liberman party.”

The elections for the 19th Knesset are scheduled to be held on January 22, 2013.