The new party of the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, which he called (Kadima), has so far attracted 14 members of the Knesset from the Likud, in addition to one member of the One Nation party, and one Labor party member of the Knesset.
Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported on Sunday that MK Michael Nudelman (Yisrael Beiteinu) became the 17th legislator to announce he is joining Sharon’s new party, bringing its total faction number to three short of Labor’s 20 seats.
Although the Likud party enjoyed 40 seats at the Knesset before the departure of Sharon, it remained the largest block but with only 26 Knesset seats. The Labor party occupies the second place, and Shinui in the third place with 14 seats.
Nudelman, an immigrant from the Former Soviet Union, who is an economics and mathematics professor, settled in Kiryiat Shmona in the Upper Galilee in 1991.
Israeli analysts believe that he is said to bring in the Russian immigrant vote for Sharon.
Haaretz said that he is the second Russian-speaking member of Knesset who joined Sharon’s party alongside MK Marina Solodkin, formerly of the Likud.
Meanwhile, Israeli vice Premier, Shimon Peres, former Labor Party head, met with MK Haim Ramon and Sharon’s confidant Uri Shani. Peres was told in the meeting that if he chooses to join Sharon’s party he would secure a position which is “suitable to his skills”.