Likud ministers deposit their resignation letters with chairman Netanyahu. They reject his directive to resign from Olmert`s cabinet on Thursday, will do so at Sunday`s cabinet meeting

In a surprise move, Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday night ordered Likud ministers to quit the following morning, Jan 12, day of the primaries at the Likud Central committee for the party slate in the March election. debkafile adds: The inference was that Netanyahu would not endorse defiant ministers for the tight list. Not all the 25 members of the outgoing Knesset expect to be re-elected. Netanyahu also stressed Likud must never be party to the repartition of Jerusalem, and charged Kadima led by acting PM Ehud Olmert with preparing to endorse this step by permitting Palestinians to vote for their legislative council in East Jerusalem.
Olmert announced Wednesday he will soon fill six of the eleven vacant portfolios he is holding on trust with three former Likud and three former Labor ministers. A Likud walkout will force him to find candidates for another four.
Earlier, as wheeling and dealing for election went into high gear, Kadima agreed to place Shimon Peres in number two spot which justice minister Tsipi Livni has ceded in return for the promise of the foreign ministry in a post-election cabinet – if that party wins the March poll. The party list is still tentative. Its heads are in uproar over the New York Times article of Tuesday designating Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu potential heir of his old rival Ariel Sharon rather than acting prime minister Olmert. Likud holds primary vote Thursday with 92 candidates vying for Knessent candidature.
Labor leader Amir Peretz ended the electioneering moratorium he declared when the prime minister went into hospital and will try an revive his faltering prospects.
Lists must be submitted to the Central Elections Committee by Feb. 8.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email