Coalition coalesces
Moshe Kahlon, Israel's Next Finance Minister

Netanyahu meets Kulanu chairperson and promises him the post he asked for, a day before Rivlin announces the next prime minister.

Ido Ben-Porat, Ari Yashar ,

Moshe Kahlon
Moshe Kahlon
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met on Tuesday with Moshe Kahlon, chairperson of the newly formed Kulanu party, after a long cut-off in contact between the two - Kahlon was formerly a Likud minister under Netanyahu before leaving the party.

In the meeting, the two agreed that Kahlon would receive his request to be appointed Finance Minister in the coalition government Netanyahu is busily trying to form. The post was previously held by Yesh Atid chairperson Yair Lapid.

The agreement comes a day before President Reuven Rivlin is to announce the next prime minister, formally sealing Netanyahu's victory after he outpaced Labor by a wide margin of 30 mandates to 24. Netanyahu has already secured the support of a full 67 MKs, well surpassing the 61 seat majority required to form a coalition.

Earlier on Tuesday Netanyahu met with Yisrael Beytenu chairperson Avigdor Liberman.

Liberman said "it was a good meeting, nothing was promised to me." He has asked to be named Defense Minister, although he hasn't made clear if the demand will be a make-or-break condition.

According to Channel 2, if Liberman's party - which only has six seats - is given two ministerial positions, he is likely to give the second post to Sofa Landver instead of Orly Levi-Abekasis, despite her being on the second spot of the party list.

Netanyahu met with Jewish Home chairperson Naftali Bennett on Monday, with party members saying "before we speak about joining the government, we want to make sure it will truly be a nationalist government, a rightist government and not a leftist government."

Bennett demanded the NGO Bill, which targets foreign-funded NGOs conducting activities against Israel, as a basic requirement for his party to join, as well as the Jewish State Bill and the "North Plan" his party has created to increase employment in the nation's north.

The coalition negotiations are to take place in the Knesset building in Jerusalem, in contrast to how the Likud party has in recent years held the negotiations at Kfar Hamakabiya in Ramat Gan.

Likud explained that the decision was meant to cut costs required to hold the negotiations, and to shorten the process.



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