Photos: Ohad Zwigenberg, Ofer Amram, Haim Zach, Ido Erez
Kahlon and Netanyahu at Likud Convention
Photo: Moti Kimhi

Kahlon: I'm ready to start a new party

Minister tells associates he has no regrets about decision but still waiting to make sure it's the right political move

Two weeks after announcing he was quitting politics Moshe Kahlon is ready to establish a new party.


Kahlon recently took the spotlight at the Likud Central Committee convention where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "Moshe you were born at the Likud, you're staying at the Likud and you will help the Likud win the elections."


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But as things stands now it appears the minister is opting for a different path - as the leader of a new party.


A poll commissioned by his supporters predicted that a party headed by Kahlon could win as many as 20 Knesset seats in the upcoming elections leaving the Likud-Beiteinu with only 28 mandates.  


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Another possibility examined in the survey was Kahlon running on a ticket with Tzipi Livni. According to the poll, a party under Livni's leadership would win 26 Knesset seats.


The minister said that he will make a decision on the subject in the coming days.

משה כחלון ובנימין נתניהו לאחר אישור הסכם האיחוד  (צילום: מוטי קמחי)

Kahlon and Netanyahu (Photo: Moti Kimhi)


Kahlon's associates said Wednesday that he is likely to establish a new party if he gets more than 10-12 mandates in future polls.


Asked whether he was still deliberating whether to leave the Likud he said, "There is no deliberation. I have no regrets about my decision, if I do choose to embark on a new path. I just want to make sure it's the right political move."


Asked whether he has no qualms about leaving the Likud, he replied, "I am mentally ready to make the decision to form a party with a social agenda."

כחלון מודיע על פרישה (ארכיון) (צילום: אוהד צויגנברג)

Consulting with friends (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)


Kahlon has spent the past few days consulting with his closest colleagues and has met with Likud activists, MKs and ministers. He is expected to reach a decision in the coming days.


Meanwhile, the minister is no longer popular in Prime Minister Netanyahu's circle. "His conduct in the past few days is absolute fraud," one of Netanyahu's associates said.


"He's running the Likud Central Committee meetings but acting like a Fifth Column inside the party."


Netanyahu himself alluded to the matter during his visit to France on Wednesday. "Moshe Kahlon explicitly said he was staying at the Likud and I believe he will," he said.


Yuval Karni is a Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent




פרסום ראשון: 11.01.12, 09:53
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