Mofaz to be acting PM next week (JERUSALEM POST) By GIL HOFFMAN 05/11/12)
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Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz will already enjoy the fruits of his new
title of vice premier next Thursday when he fills in for Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is embarking on a two-day visit to
The law requires that an acting prime minister be appointed whenever
the prime minister goes abroad.
While fellow vice premiers Moshe Ya’alon and Silvan Shalom have
alternated in the symbolic role until now, the coalition agreement
states that Mofaz will fill in for Netanyahu every time he leaves the
country from now on.
The title of vice premier is symbolic and has no legal status, unlike
the title vice prime minister, which enabled Ehud Olmert to
automatically succeed former prime minister Ariel Sharon when he
became incapacitated. Netanyahu has not appointed a vice prime
Four ministers have the title of deputy prime minister, which is also
symbolic: Ehud Barak, Avigdor Liberman, Eli Yishai and Dan Meridor.
The position of vice premier is actually a downgrade from opposition
leader, because diplomatic protocol requires that visiting foreign
leaders meet with the opposition leader but not the vice premier.
Mofaz will also receive lighter protection from security services and
a less prestigious car.
Mofaz on Thursday defended his decision to join Netanyahu’s
coalition, writing on his Facebook page that the national unity
government was “a historic opportunity to make meaningful steps for
the good of the public.”
Mofaz, who has been heavily criticized as a “flipflopper” for joining
Netanyahu’s coalition after having attacked the prime minister as “a
liar” in his role as opposition leader, stated that “there are times
when the leadership must make decisions even if they seem unpopular.”
The newly-inducted vice premier added: “In my view, it would have
been irresponsible to miss this opportunity. The responsibility is on
me, and me alone. Let me be judged by my results – I will stand the
test.” (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/11/12)
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