Former Knesset Member Haim Ramon, who has been serving as the head of the Kadima Council, has submitted his resignation from the post and the party on Wednesday evening.
Hours after Kadima
Chairman Shaul Mofaz
was sworn in as deputy prime minister and minister without portfolio, Ramon told Ynet that Kadima has lost its way as the centrist party he had envisioned.
"From an ideological standpoint, Kadima no longer exists for me," he said.
He admitted that perhaps Mofaz's decision to join the Coalition was a natural progression, considering many of its members sought the change.
"Kadima has reverted to being Likud,"
he added. "Many (members) have wanted this to happen the whole time. They voted out Tzipi Livni…
They prefered a Kadima that wants to be a part of Likud. Kadima is done being a centrist party."
Ramon with Mofaz (Archive photo: GPO)
The former minister noted that a vacuum has been created in the political system, positing that the majority of the public wants a centrist leadership. He said that if former Opposition leader Livni and former journalist Yair Lapid
joined forces to form a new party, many would join.
"I will make efforts to establish such a party in the future," he said.
Ramon stated that he harbors no hard feelings towards Mofaz for choosing to join the Coalition.
"I'm not angry," he said. "They chose their way, and I'm choosing mine. This wasn't the Kadima that I joined."
Ramon was the first to drop out but wasn't the only one criticizing the development. A Knesset member who is closely associated with Mofaz said Wednesday that the political upset has left a bitter aftertaste.
"(The unity government deal)
was made in a shoddy manner, and that's outrageous," he said. "You can't just present the faction with a finished contract in the middle of the night, and demand it to be approved so hastily.
"Kadima must behave differently in order to survive," he said.
Other concerns that were raised by Kadima faction members included the fate of the Tal Law, as well as tensions over the impending ministerial and Knesset committee appointments.