Netanyahu at cabinet meeting.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked his cabinet to formally appoint him economy minister Sunday after his three months as acting minister expired.
Netanyahu received the portfolio when Shas leader Arye Deri gave it up in early November. By law, the prime minister automatically receives abdicated portfolios for 90 days.
During that time, Netanyahu intended to reshuffle portfolios inside his Likud faction. But he still had not made up his mind by Sunday, necessitating the cabinet vote.
A source close to Netanyahu hinted that the appointments were coming soon. The most likely scenario remains that Tourism Minister Yariv Levin receives the Economy portfolio and coalition chairman Tzachi Hanegbi will become tourism minister.
But a source close to Hanegbi did not sound hopeful Sunday.
"There have been hints since last November," the source lamented.
Hanegbi denied a report that Netanyahu was waiting for a court case against Deri's appointment as interior minister. The Supreme Court will hear the case on February 9.