Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Kulanu Party’s negotiating team on Wednesday added additional portfolios to its conditions for joining the next government, in a meeting with Likud representatives at the Knesset.
Last week, Kulanu chairman Moshe Kahlon said his party was demanding the Finance Ministry, the Israel Lands Authority and the Knesset Building and Planning Committee.
On Wednesday, the negotiating team also requested the Construction Ministry, the Environmental Protection Ministry, and the chairmanship of the Knesset Finance Committee.
“No reforms will be able to happen if we are not given the authority to accomplish them,” a source on the Kulanu negotiating team said.
The source said Kahlon has good relations with United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni, who has also demanded the Finance Committee chairmanship, but that the Kulanu head believes it must be led by one of his party’s lawmakers to ensure that the people are properly served.
Likud officials accused Kahlon of going overboard in his demands. They said he was receiving poor advice from former advisers of the late prime minister Ariel Sharon.
Kulanu officials said their demands are reasonable and that Sharon’s advisers had helped lead the country successfully.
“We have not asked for the Defense portfolio, as I am sure other parties would if they were in our place,” a Kulanu official said.
The Likud also negotiated on Wednesday with Yisrael Beytenu. Channel 10 reported that the party asked for “an expanded Foreign Affairs portfolio.” Yisrael Beytenu officials said the request means that regardless of who becomes foreign minister, all of the ministry’s former responsibilities would be restored, including for the fight against boycotts, divestment, and sanctions, and for the relationship with Diaspora Jews.