Moshe Kahlon votes at a ballot box in his native Givat Olga.
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
The Likud will not sign a coalition deal with any party without the approval of the next government’s finance minister, Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon, sources in Likud and Kulanu said Thursday night.
The sources continued to deny reports in the Hebrew press that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Kahlon had already reached a deal. Members of the negotiating teams of Likud and Kulanu said the two parties would only begin to draft a deal when they meet on Sunday.
The Likud’s team will meet Friday morning with representatives of Shas in an effort to write an agreement. A deal is almost ready with United Torah Judaism and could already be signed Friday but the Likud decided against it.
Likud officials said Netanyahu wants the first coalition agreement to be with Kulanu at the beginning of next week. UTJ and Shas will come the day after. Only then will talks with Bayit Yehudi and Yisrael Beytenu become more serious.
“Moshe has to authorize every agreement,” a source close to Kahlon said. “If not, everything will get too complicated.”
Netanyahu received a mandate from President Reuven Rivlin to form a government by May 6. Rivlin’s predecessor, Shimon Peres, criticized Netanyahu in an interview with Channel 2 anchor Yonit Levi that was broadcast Thursday night.
Peres said Netanyahu’s Election Day warnings about “Arabs coming in droves to the polls” were unacceptable.
“In a democracy you cannot do something like that,” Peres said. “I’m glad he apologized.”
Peres also criticized several left-wing figures for recent statements against Sephardim and Orthodox Israelis. He said they should “be careful to avoid racism” and watch what they say very closely.
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