Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid dared the leaders of the parties running against him
in the national elections Tuesday to follow his lead in vowing not to accept any
appointments as minister without portfolio.
At a Tel Aviv press
conference, Lapid said such appointments wastefully bloat the government at a
cost of NIS 20 million per minister. Lapid and other Yesh Atid candidates posted
their commitment to not be ministers-without-portfolio on their Facebook pages
and asked politicians from other parties to follow suit on their own Facebook
“Ministries-without-portfolio are a symbol for corruption, make
government ineffective, and mock the taxpayers,” Lapid said.
not we join the coalition, this ethical commitment must be made. Politicians who
refrain from making this vow contribute to political corruption and the public
should take revenge against them.”
Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar
(Likud), who is expected to receive a senior portfolio, accepted Lapid’s
challenge. But Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) said he was
skeptical that all the parties joining the coalition would be willing to take
fewer ministers and eliminate ministries without portfolios.
minister has a choice of whether or not to form a stable government,” Erdan
said. “Yair Lapid doesn’t understand yet that it would cost a lot more to have
another election if the government falls apart after a month.”
bitter rivals on the Center-Left, Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich and former
foreign minister Tzipi Livni, mocked his initiative, issuing responses that
Lapid called delusional.
“That was his dramatic socioeconomic
announcement?” Livni, who was once a minister-withoutportfolio, said at a Tel
Aviv press conference. “It’s sad that this is the issue he raises when there are
so many challenges Israel is facing.”
Yacimovich accused Lapid of trying
to help Netanyahu’s reelection, in a reaction that Lapid said made him
“Wow, what a promise,” Yacimovich said at a Tel Aviv press
conference. “It will be hard for him to keep that one. Well, I won’t join the
Netanyahu government as a giraffe.”
The Jerusalem Post asked Lapid at the
press conference whether he would seek the Foreign Ministry as the head of the
secondlargest party, just like Avigdor Liberman did when he headed the
second-largest party in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s first
“We will go to coalition negotiations and seek commitments about
the middle class and equalizing the burden of IDF service,” Lapid said. “It’s
not smart to ask in advance for portfolios.
It’s better to keep cards
close to your chest and let the [Likud] sweat until the end of the [coalition-
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