Kulanu chief Moshe Kahlon speaks to voters during a campaign stop.
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
A member of the Kulanu negotiating team denied a Channel 10 report Tuesday night that party leader Moshe Kahlon had secretly conducted talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lawyer David Shimron about joining the coalition.
The report said Kulanu was still fighting with Shas for control of a key Interior Ministry committee, but that there was no longer a hostile atmosphere between the Likud and Kulanu and that they were more optimistic now about reaching a deal.
The Kulanu negotiating team member said the party was still holding strong in its disputes with the Likud, and it would try to work them out in its next meeting with Likud representatives on Sunday.
The only coalition talks scheduled between now and then are set for Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. with Yisrael Beytenu. A Yisrael Beytenu source called speculation that the Likud could try to split the party “farfetched.”
No coalition talks with Kulanu were scheduled this week at all. Its faction chairman, MK Roy Folkman, told Army Radio Tuesday that his party favored a national-unity government with the Zionist Union over a narrow, right-wing-majority government.
“There’s a reason that the name of our party is ‘Kulanu’ [Hebrew for ‘all of us’],” said Folkman. “We’d like to see as many coalition partners as is possible, but we’ve come to carry out a number of changes in the socioeconomic sphere. So obviously we will be members of other governments as well.”
When asked if the party’s preference was for a large coalition in which “it would not be cast in the role of the left-wing flank from a diplomatic standpoint,” Folkman replied, “Yes, I would agree with that.”
Ariel Zilber contributed to this report