Water and Energy Minister Silvan Shalom held what was termed a “positive” meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday night, Channel 2 News reports.
According to the report, the meeting dealt with Shalom’s possible presidential bid, which he is reconsidering now that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has said he would be ending the investigation against Shalom over allegations of improper behavior with one or more female employees.
Netanyahu has been reluctant to support Shalom’s bid for president and has been equally reluctant to support another candidate from his party, MK Reuven Rivlin. However, sources told Channel 2 that Netanyahu is now leaning more towards Shalom than towards Rivlin.
Political analysts said this week that Netanyhau was making desperate maneuvers to try and prevent Rivlin from being elected president in the coming weeks. Current President Shimon Peres's term ends in July, and a successor is to be elected by the Knesset between 30 and 90 days before then.
Netanyahu was trying to bring about a six-month postponement of the election, but is unlikely to gain support for that from the MKs. Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar has already said he opposes such a move and Finance Minister Yair Lapid also came out strongly against it.
Shalom is likely to make a final decision on whether to run by next week, said Channel 2. If he decides to go ahead and run, it is expected to be a close race between him, Rivlin and MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer of the Labor party.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)