Mofaz: Scheme won't succeed
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Olmert. Under investigation
Livni. Called for primaries
Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz slammed fellow Kadima member Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's call to "prepare for the possibility of early elections," due to the ongoing investigation against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Mofaz said, "The Barak-Adler-Livni scheme to dismantle Kadima will not succeed. Kadima's fate will be decided only by its members."
Mofaz's associates said that the transportation minister is coordinated with the prime minister and his political agenda, and that Mofaz is interested in holding primary elections during September.
Mofaz, who aspires to one day hold the office of prime minister, has recently intensified his relationship with Olmert. Sarcastically commending Livni, he said, "I am glad she has understood that Kadima is a democratic party, and that any decision will be made during a primary election. However, it's strange that Livni is lending a hand to a conspiracy aimed at uniting Kadima with Labor."
Sources affiliated with Mofaz reported that he spoke to Olmert on Thursday. "A move needs to be devised that will not push Olmert's back to the wall," one source said. "A date for the primaries needs to be decided on, in order to rehabilitate Kadima. It is clear that Olmert is going home, but the question is how it should be done.
"General elections will not help Kadima right now, and what is important is what happens to Kadima. We must not let Ehud Barak be the determining factor."
Livni's associate said that "there is no coordination with Ehud Barak, and there is no intention to hold open primaries. Kadima has its own members, who will be the ones to decide on its next leader."
Earlier Livni broke a long silence and responded to the accusations against the prime minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak's calls for Olmert's resignation. During a Jerusalem conference she said, "Kadima is at a point in which it must make decisions and prepare for any scenario, including early elections."
Barak had called on the prime minister to resign, claiming he could not possibly focus on running a government while dealing with the bribery investigation currently being conducted against him. However, Olmert's associates refused to take Barak seriously, claiming "The citizens of Israel often hear Ehud Barak's nonsense, which always amounts to nothing."