Mofaz approved as minister, Yachimovich named opposition leader

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Kadima party chairman Shaul Mofaz was approved as a government minister and Labor party chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich was appointed head of the opposition.

Mofaz was approved as a minister without portfolio and as a deputy prime minister by the Knesset plenum on Wednesday by a vote of 71 to 23. He was sworn in after the vote.

The vote was held up after some opposition lawmakers claimed that Mofaz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had made secret oral coalition agreements in addition to the agreements being voted on, including that other Kadima lawmakers would be appointed as government ministers. Netanyahu denied the accusations, saying that there had been discussions of other issues but that they had not reached the level of agreement.

Following the approval of the new coalition agreement, Yachimovich was appointed Mofaz’s successor as head of the opposition.
 

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