Kulanu’s Kahlon negotiating to join Likud

Negotiations for the finance minister to rejoin Likud already began before last week’s election took place, said former coalition chair Yossi Bitan.

By World Israel News Staff

Kulanu party leader Moshe Kahlon is reportedly negotiating with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to rejoin Likud.

Netanyahu’s Likud party was victorious in last week’s national election and will lead a right-wing government.

The centrist Kulanu party, which received 10 seats in the 2015 election, is now down to four.

According to several analysts, returning to Likud would be a natural move for Kahlon. A former Likud Knesset member, Kahlon launched Kulanu in November 2014 and, since 2015, has served as minister of finance in the Netanyahu-led coalition.

Likud’s Yossi Bitan, former chairman of the coalition, told Ynet that Kahlon’s joining the Likud would be a move in the right direction, but “the question of price has not yet been disclosed.”

Indeed, Bitan said, Kahlon already began negotiations to rejoin the party even before the election took place.

“Kahlon and Eli Cohen have no problem running in the Likud and being elected,” Bitan added.

Cohen, an MK for Kulanu, also serves as Minister of the Economy and Industry and as a member of the Security Cabinet.

Netanyahu would be especially eager for Kulanu to join his party not only because it would strengthen the coalition, but it would lesson the possibility of his coalition crumbling should he be indicted on corruption charges.

In earlier statements, Kahlon said that he would pull Kulanu from the coalition if the prime minister is indicted following his legal hearing. Other parties have not made statements to the effect that they would exit if Prime Minister Netanyahu is indicted.