Less than 24 hours after dropping the first political bomb on the 19th Knesset elections, Social Affairs and Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon said he decided to 'take a break' from political life.
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"I went to sleep every night, and woke up every morning, with the citizens of Israel," Kahlon told members of the ruling Likud party on Monday. "I went out of my way to act in favor of all social classes, while initiating major reforms to benefit the entire public."
"If it wasn't for the prime minister's full support," Kahlon added, "I doubt we could have made it. These reforms were waiting for many years now, and needed a prime minister like Netanyahu to advance them, and have our citizens enjoy innovation, technology and a free market."
Kahlon stressed that though he announced his retirement from the Knesset, he is not leaving the Likud. "I look around me with hope, pride and satisfaction. I feel like I should take a break, but I will continue to act for the benefit of my party," he said.
Netanyahu and Kahlon, Likud session (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Regarding his political future, Kahlon expressed his desire to promote reforms in Israel. "I previously spoke about this issue with the prime minister, who also advocates reform"
Netanyahu told Kahlon, "I can understand the desire to take time off, I've been there myself; I will continue trying to persuade you to stay with us. I believe this is where you belong; you led crucial and important reforms." The PM also addressed upcoming elections, stating "this time it's final; elections are coming up."
In an exclusive interview with Ynet following his announcement, Kahlon claimed he notified PM Netanyahu three years ago that he would not run for another term. "So what if I retire, I don't see what's the big deal?" said the minister, widely considered as the most popular minister in the government.
Moran Azulay contributed to this article.
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