Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has stressed that his Kulanu party will not remain in the coalition if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is indicted in one or more of the corruption probes involving him.
Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel, Flash 90
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed this week to prevent the dissolution of his government in a last-minute agreement with ultra-Orthodox parties regarding an IDF draft bill, theoretically securing the rule of the current government until 2019. However, a series of corruption investigations continue to hover over his head, with many in his own coalition saying he should step down in the case of indictment.
One of them is Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, the head of the Kulanu party, which holds 10 seats in the Knesset. Kahlon is widely regarded as the single person who can determine the fate of the government; if his party exits, there will be no government to speak of.
In an interview with Israel News Company to be aired on Friday, Kahlon made it clear his party will not stay in the government if Netanyahu is indicted. “If at the end of the procedures the Attorney General announces he has decided to issue an indictment against the prime minister – (he) will not be able to continue to hold his position as prime minister,” Kahlon said.
“He doesn’t even need me to tell him that,” Kahlon added. “I believe he will get up and go himself, or the other parties will.”
Unlike Kahlon, HaBayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett said earlier this week his party will consider its options if Netanyahu is indicted, refraining from stating clearly that his party will leave the coalition. “Only if an indictment is finalized, we will contemplate our decision in accordance with the situation,” he said.