Kahlon to decide on heading new party in coming days

Former Likud minister considers heading own party, PM dismisses reports, reaffirms that Kahlon will "remain in Likud."

October 31, 2012 17:12
1 minute read.
PM Netanyahu and Moshe Kahlon

PM Netanyahu and Moshe Kahlon 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Former popular Likud minister Moshe Kahlon will decide in the coming days whether to establish an independent party for the 19th Knesset, Army Radio reported Wednesday.

Army Radio quoted sources close to Kahlon as saying that should he decide to form a new party, he would keep the principles of Likud. They added that Kahlon was reassured by reactions to his poll which showed that a party at his lead would win 20 seats in the next Knesset.

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According to the sources, the trust between Kahlon and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been undermined, Army Radio reported.

However, Netanyahu on Wednesday dismissed reports that former Likud Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon was considering starting his own party, according to Army Radio.

Following his meeting in Paris with French President Francois Hollande, Netanyahu revealed that Kahlon had "told me clearly that he would remain in the Likud...and I believe he will."

Netanyahu's comments followed reports that Kahlon recently commissioned a survey of potential voters, which showed that a party at his lead would win 20 seats in the next Knesset.

The comments follow a survey of potential voters, commissioned by Kahlon, which showed that a party at his lead would win 20 seats in the next Knesset, The Jerusalem Post learned Wednesday.

The fact that Kahlon commissioned the poll indicates that he could be considering rejoining the political arena, despite stating earlier that he wanted to retire from politics. That said, polls that spotlight one person are often disproportionately favorable to that person.

Conducted by the Rafi Smith group, the poll also found that were he to lead the party together with popular former Kadima head Tzipi Livni, the party would win 26 seats, according to Army Radio.

Kahlon, who was the communications minister in the last Knesset, announced that he was quitting politics earlier this month, but said he would stay on with his Likud in the transition to the next election "so it can continue to lead."

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