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Netanyahu with Yaalon. 'A recycled team'
Photo: Ofer Amram
Kadima betting on 30 Knesset seats
Although public opinion polls predict ruling party will lose power in upcoming elections, Ynet learns party officials believe it will grow stronger
The heads of Kadima's election campaign will hold a press conference Sunday in the party's headquarters in Petah Tikva, in which they will try and convey the following message: "Replacing the old with the new, replacing the old with change."

 

The event is expected to be attended by Kadima Chairwoman and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni; Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik; Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, head of the party's election campaign; Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter, head of the PR campaign; and other senior party members.

 

Although public opinion polls predict that the ruling party will lose power in the upcoming elections, Ynet has learned that Kadima officials are betting on 30 Knesset seats and have set the campaign's expenses accordingly.

 

The Knesset's Finance Committee decided last week that the funding for one Knesset seat will amount to NIS 1.22 million (about $305,248) for each member of the current Knesset. However the party may approve a deviation from the budget if needed, up to a ceiling of 35 Knesset seats.

 

The heads of Kadima's election campaign are expected to attack the Likud and its leader, Opposition Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as the "stars" who recently joined the party.

 

They will also try and convince the public that Livni is the candidate who should meet with the new American president, Barack Obama, after forming a new government, rather than Netanyahu "who presents (former Minister) Benny Begin and (former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe) Bogie Yaalon".

 

'Netanyahu hasn't changed'

The Kadima officials are also expected to explain that Netanyahu's team "is not really new, but recycled".

 

A senior party member said, "We don't need opportunists, and everyone knows what Begin and (former Minister Dan) Meridor really think about Netanyahu."

 

Another senior official told Ynet, "Everyone knows who was kicked out of the Prime Minister's Office shamefacedly several years ago. This didn't happen 200 years ago, but a few years ago.

 

"We have already tried the other candidates, and they haven't taken us to glorious places. The Likud is one big recycling, and we have seen all of them before. Bogie Yaalon is the new big star?"

 

The Kadima members went on to slam Netanyahu and his conduct. "Let's not kid ourselves," said a senior member of the party's election campaign. "Everyone is the same in all parties, in ours too. But Netanyahu hasn't changed.

 

"He remains quiet all the time, and they make sure he doesn’t talk. They're afraid he'll talk nonsense so they silence him, and an entire team is watching him for fear of a slip of the tongue."

 

Kadima also has plans in regards to the Labor Party. "We'll replace Labor," said a senior member of the election campaign. "It's an impossible party, and we can't run a coalition with them. Each person who comes there is worse than the other."

 

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