Bitan: We're laying groundwork for next government right now

MK David Bitan says coalition talks are underway, after elections talks will be 'short and easy.' Also: Liberman, Lapid, may join hands.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

David Bitan
David Bitan
Flash 90

Former Coalition Chairman David Bitan (Likud) spoke on Wednesday to 103FM Radio about the makeup of the upcoming government.

Bitan, who is considered close to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, told 103FM that he would like to be a minister, but the posts are taken. He also said that even though he speaks to Netanyahu often, he "does not publicize the conversations on the radio."

Netanyahu is expected to appoint temporary ministers to fill the places of those leaving. Though the positions would be only until October, Bitan believes that "this is a special situation" and it is worth being a minister in the temporary government.

"We're creating the next government already, so the coalition negotiations will be very short and easy," he said, adding that the September 17 elections are "are very important elections."

Blaming the new elections on "[Yisrael Beytenu Chairman Avigdor] Liberman and Blue and White," Bitan said, "At the end of the day, the people chose Netanyahu and not other people. It is inconceivable that the President should choose the candidate from within the Likud." He added: "Every month of elections costs the parties a lot of money, so activities are pushed off as much as possible."

When asked why the fact that the Likud is not holding new primaries prevents former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (New Right) from joining the party but did not prevent outgoing Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu party from merging with it, Bitan explained: "Kahlon was a Knesset member, and we needed him for all sorts of decisions. Ayelet Shaked, on the other hand, is not, and she apparently will make her way to somewhere else."

Regarding whether the upcoming elections would be a repeat of the April elections, Bitan said, "If we don't get 61 [seats] then yes. In my estimation, [Blue and White leader Yair] Lapid will not run with Blue and White, and Liberman will join together with Lapid in these elections."

"They're fighting for the same agenda. It could be that's what'll happen."

Though Liberman isn't a leftist, "he doesn't want Netanyahu, and that's not related to whether he's a leftist or not. He's getting votes from the right, and he's not allowing the formation of a right-wing government."

"Last time he promised to support Netanyahu, and that's why he got votes. This time he's not saying that, he's not making a commitment. I believe that from a political perspective, he'll join with Lapid. Lapid is having problems with Blue and White.

"That's just my personal estimation," he admitted. "But I haven't made too many mistakes with my estimations."