MK Molla may follow Ramon in quitting Kadima, MK Shai will not

MK Molla may follow Ramon in quitting Kadima, MK Shai will not

Shai contemplating eventual bid for Jerusalem mayor, but supports coalition and not leaving party; Kadima’s coffers empty

Haim Ramon in the Knesset in 2010. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Haim Ramon in the Knesset in 2010. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Kadima party co-founder Haim Ramon is leaving the party in protest against party chairman Shaul Mofaz’s decision to join the governing coalition.

Shlomo Molla will also leave the party, Channel 2 reported Wednesday night. Molla was reportedly looking into the option of crossing the lines and joining the Labor Party in the opposition.

Kadima MK Nachman Shai, by contrast, denied a Channel 2 report that he too might leave. He told The Times of Israel that he voted for the coalition, and would do so again. He confirmed that he was eyeing the option of running for mayor in Jerusalem, but said that idea came up some time ago, that a decision was a long way off, and that he certainly was not leaving Kadima.

Former MK and minister Ramon left the Labor Party to join the centrist party Kadima founded by longtime LIkud leader Ariel Sharon in 2005. He has been serving as head of Kadima’s governing council.

“Kadima has gone back to being the Likud. It is no longer a centrist party,” Ramon told Ynet. “As far as I am concerned, there is no more Kadima party, from an ideological perspective.”

Ramon also said, however, that he was not angry. “They have chosen their way, and I have chosen mine.”

Mofaz’s decision to join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government evidently took Kadima’s dire financial situation into account, Channel 10 News reported Wednesday.

Kadima party checks to suppliers have bounced recently, and Bank Hapoalim cut its line of credit. The party would have been entering national elections with empty coffers, but for now that situation has been averted.

Party officials said that Kadima’s finances reached a “disgraceful deficit” under the leadership of Tzipi Livni, but that debt arrangements are being made with banks.

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