Two days before Israel’s general election, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has offered the post of minister of finance to Kulanu party leader Moshe Kachlon, formerly of Likud.
I can’t form a government without him,” Netanyahu told Razi Barkai of Galei Tzahal (Israel Army Radio) this morning, adding, “Together, Kachlon and I will be able to solve the housing problem and the cost of living problem just as we dealt with the mobile telephony market”
Netanyahu said that as far as he was concerned it would make no difference how many seats Kulanu won, he would still give Kachlon the finance portfolio.
“We are 48 hours before the election, and there was no doubt that his would happen,” Kachlon said, “the aim is to take votes from Kulanu and transfer them elsewhere.”
Kachlon said Netanyahu had promised him the Israel Land Administration and the finance portfolio in the past, and had not kept his word. “A strong Kulanu means a socially orientated government. Unless I have enough strength, we will again get the same failed economic policy conducted by Lapid.”
In his interview, Netanyahu said he had been unable to focus on housing and the cost of living in the previous government, and that he intended to do so in his next term. “Together with my colleagues in Likud and together with Moshe Kachlon and Naftali Bennett, part of a natural government with natural partners, this is a nationalist government that will get things done.”
Asked about the possibility of a unity government with Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Union, Netanyahu responded that President Rivlin could not impose such an arrangement because it would be doomed to failure as a non-starter because of the gaps between Likud and the Zionist Union. “The president will give one of us the task of forming a government, but he will not decide on the composition of the government, and in my opinion cannot do so. I hope that he will act within his authority.”