Kadima MK Avigdor Itzchaky announced Wednesday evening that he was stepping down from his post of coalition chairman, hours after Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign.
He will be replaced by MK Tzachi Hanegbi, the head of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and Olmert’s close ally, reports said.
Itzchaky, who made the announcement at the onset of a Kadima faction meeting to discuss the Winograd report, also called for Olmert’s resignation.
Knesset members from both sides of the political spectrum made similar calls.
“The demand for Olmert’s resignation is not enough,” Likud MK Limor Livnat said, adding that “all cabinet members are responsible for the war’s failures and must step down as well.”
Meretz faction chairman Zahava Gal-On said Livni’s statement “proves that this government must go home.”
National Union – NRP chairman Zevulun Orlev reiterated the call, saying Olmert should “go home quickly,” but others in his right-wing faction slammed Livni’s move.
Knesset Member Effi Eitam (National Union – NRP) said Livni’s call on the prime minister to resign while remaining a member of his cabinet “is immoral and expresses a lack of courage and leadership.”
“Livni has proved that she is not worthy to serve as prime minister,” he said.