Moshe Kahlon .
(photo credit: EMIL SALMAN/POOL)
Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon would be willing to give up his dream job of finance minister if it would enable opposition leader Isaac Herzog to join a national-unity government, Kahlon said Monday, in an interview with the newspaper Yediot Aharonot.
There have been reports over the past two weeks about generous offers that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made to Labor to join the coalition. Zionist Union and Labor head Isaac Herzog declined to rule out entering the government in a Channel 1 interview Sunday.
Kahlon has been pushing Netanyahu to expand the government for months.
Widening the coalition would make it easier for Kahlon to pass the 2015-2016 state budget and implement his socioeconomic agenda.
“Numbers-wise, the government can complete its term, [which ends in November 2019],” Kahlon said. “We will pass the budget and not fail in votes in the Knesset.
Technically, the current coalition can continue. But for the public and society, we must widen it.”
Kahlon said he was enjoying being finance minister, but he said he would give it up if Herzog would demand the portfolio.
“There are things that are more important than my personal happiness,” he said.
“A wider government would change the atmosphere in the country, diminish the hostility, and decrease the cynicism.”
Kahlon confirmed reports that Netanyahu was seeking to form a right-wing bloc of parties in the next election that would include Kulanu.
He said he turned the prime minister down.
“It is true the prime minister wants me to return to Likud,” he said. “I have told him over and over again that I did not leave the Likud in order to return. I left in order to form a party with a different agenda.”