Former interior minister Gideon Sa'ar..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Gideon Sa’ar tendered his resignation as interior minister to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday.
Sa’ar announced two months ago that he would take a break of politics to spend more time with his family, to the surprise of nearly everyone on the political scene.
He will resign from the Knesset on Monday, and will be replaced by Leon Litinetsky of Yisrael Beytenu, the next Knesset candidate on the joint Likud-Yisrael Beytenu list that ran in the last election.
As such, the Likud will have only 18 MKs, making it the second-largest party in the coalition, after Yesh Atid’s 19.
Yisrael Beytenu will grow to 13 seats.
Communications Minister Gilad Erdan is expected to replace Sa’ar, after Netanyahu proposed to him to become Interior Minister and continue being responsible for the Israel Broadcast Authority, which he began overhauling this year.
However, Erdan has yet to announce his decision, since Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman offered him the job of ambassador to the UN once Ron Prosor leaves the post in January.
Meanwhile, there is an ongoing battle in the Likud as to who will become communications minister, since Erdan’s departure from the job seems certain. Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat is thought to be eyeing the position as a step up from where she is now. Knesset House Committee chairman Yariv Levin and MK Gila Gamliel each say Netanyahu promised to give him or her the next ministry open to the Likud.
The prime minister is not in a hurry to make a decision on the matter until after the Likud leadership primary in December or January, which is apparently a strategy to ensure he will have MKs’ loyalty and help in the race.
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