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Monday, July 14, 2008 

What a surprise: now Labor ministers vote no-confidence

And here's why they did so:
In an unexpected turn of events, Labor voted no-confidence in the government on Monday, following a parliamentary spat with coalition partner Kadima.

Formally, the vote was over the appointment of Kadima MKs Eli Aflalo and Ruhama Avraham to immigrant absorption minister and tourism minister, respectively. But Labor MKs decided to vote against the appointments, after the coalition failed to raise a majority for the appointment of party MK Avishay Braverman to chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, in place of Israel Beitenu MK Stas Meseznikov.

And when the vote was turned into a confidence vote, Labor members' "no" effectively became a vote of no-confidence in the government.

Despite Labor's decision, the appointments were approved at 47-42 for Aflalo and 45-42 for Avraham. But the party's vote against the government in which it is an important partner could further deepen the rift between Labor and Kadima, and potentially opened the door for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to dismiss Labor's ministers.

However, an associate of Olmert said Monday night that the prime minister remains committed to Braverman's appointment, and will move to approve Braverman's selection for the job as early as tomorrow.

Olmert welcomed the appointments of Aflalo and Avraham. But he added that "If Labor had not broken earlier agreements and voted against the ministers' appointments in the Knesset House Committee this morning, we would not have come to the situation that happened in the plenum this evening."

In the hours before the vote, comprehensive efforts were made to reach a compromise between Kadima and Labor, but the talks failed.
Now I don't know if this means that he'll actually fire any of the Labor ministers who decided to vote no confidence. But it's another step towards the much deserved end of his political career.

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