The likely expansion of the coalition is good news for incoming coalition chairman David Bitan (Likud), who will start whipping up votes when the Knesset’s summer session begins on Monday.
“As coalition chairman, I certainly want a broader coalition; that would be much easier. I would still manage with 61 MKs, but it would be much more difficult, because now every MK thinks he can make everything depend on him,” Bitan said Wednesday. “More MKs are easier to manage.”
The rebel MKs are the reason for coalition talks, he added: “There are MKs who think they’re their own party, but they were elected as part of a party and they have to respect faction and government decisions.”
Even before Yisrael Beytenu’s ascent to the coalition looked like a forgone conclusion, Bitan, who is replacing MK Tzachi Hanegbi as coalition chairman, expressed hope that Avigdor Liberman’s party would be on his side.
Some very controversial bills expected to come up for votes in the next few months – the bill to suspend MKs who support terrorism, legislation targeting NGOs that receive foreign government funding, the “V15 bill” to ban SuperPACs, and others – will also get a boost if Yisrael Beytenu joins the coalition, Bitan said.