Moshe Kahlon
Moshe KahlonBen Kelmer/Flash 90

While the Likud-led coalition government overcame its latest crisis last week, when the Jewish Home party threatened to bolt if Education Minister Naftali Bennett was not named Defense Minister, the government is unlikely to survive long with a narrow 61-member majority, a senior coalition partner said Monday morning.

Speaking on the Haolam Haboker radio program, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) said the chances of the current government remaining intact much longer are slim.

Prior to former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s (Yisrael Beytenu) departure from the coalition, the government enjoyed a 66-seat majority in the 120-member Knesset. With the wider majority, the government could pass legislation even if several coalition MKs opposed a particular bill.

With a narrow two-seat majority, however, any of the upcoming votes on critical issues, such as an amendment to the draft law, could be defeated on the Knesset floor.

“The 61-[seat majority] is the problem,” said Kahlon. “It will be difficult to pass other laws. Every controversial law will require that we reach an agreement.”

Under these circumstances, Kahlon argued, early elections appear to be in the offing.

“We’re getting closer to elections. Let’s be honest, the coalition is flimsy. I don’t want to topple the government, but we are here to act, not to just survive. A government that is struggling to survive isn’t getting anything done.”