Likud MK Shlomo Karhi on Monday morning claimed that three top, sought-after portfolios must remain within his party.
Speaking on Kol Hai Radio, Karhi said, "The Defense Ministry is a portfolio which needs to remain in the hands of the ruling party. And the same for the Finance and Foreign [ministries]."
"It's unthinkable that we would give both the Finance and the Defense ministries, and in the end the Likud will be just another party in the coalition. What about Education, what about Justice, where [Religious Zionism chair MK Bezalel] Smotrich promised to make a thorough reform - why doesn't he demand that portfolio?"
Regarding the difficulties in the coalition negotiations, Karhi said, "It is the nature of negotiations that there are disagreements. Everyone wants tools to fulfill their promises to the voter, and that is why it is held up. Specifically because everyone promised the same promises, everyone wants the same tools to fulfill them."
When asked about the US' pressure against appointing Smotrich to the position of Defense Minister, Karhi said, "No one is interfering in who we appoint as ministers and with whom we form a government. We are a sovereign country."
He added that outgoing Defense Minister Benny Gantz (National Unity) "is a leftist and we are not going to form a government with him. He will not allow us to do anything which will bring back personal security."
"There is a heavy responsibility on our leaders, to get rid of the [outgoing] government," he added. "I estimate that our responsible leaders will reach an agreement to everyone's satisfaction. This group worked shoulder-to-shoulder in the opposition for a year and a half, and did not give in to temptations."
When asked about Likud MK David Bitan's statements, Karhi said, "No one is threatening. Bitan is a Likudnik, and in the end he will make a decision that is good for the Likud. It is okay that people are angry, but in the end everyone gets what is his, and people will work for the good of the State of Israel."