Members of the Kadima faction voted to quit the coalition today. Twenty-four MKs voted in favor of the proposal and three voted against it after party chairman Shaul Mofaz announced his intention to leave the government. The dissenting MKs are Avi Dichter, Otniel Schneller and Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich.
Speaking at a faction meeting in Petach Tikva, Mofaz said, “It is with deep regret that I say that there is no choice but to decide to leave the government.” Following the vote, Mofaz sent his resignation letter to Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.
“It wasn’t easy to enter it,” Mofaz said earlier. “I paid a personal political price but this issue is fundamental, and there is no choice but to leave the coalition. Every concession will harm Kadima’s image.”
The Kadima faction convened for a dramatic meeting hours after announcing that negotiations with the Likud over an alternative to the Tal Law had failed.
Addressing the crisis with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud, Mofaz said: “I insisted that the (Plesner) committee complete its task.
“The break down occurred with the dissolution of the committee by the prime minister. I told the prime minister that if he fails to accept the Plesner principles, I was out and then the Likud faction accepted my position.”
Mofaz stressed that he was unwilling to compromise on the conscription matter or the enlistment age. He said that Kadima was willing to allow yeshiva students to study until the age of 22 before enlisting. “The prime minister was not willing to go below 26 and I did not accept the offer.”
Coalition sources said that withdrawal from the coalition will threaten the government’s stability and may prompt early elections. Political sources added that in such a case, elections will be held in early 2013.
Source: YNET NEWS