Kulanu minister to jump ship to Likud?

With future of coalition in doubt and elections looming, Housing Minister reportedly laying groundwork for party switch.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yoav Galant
Yoav Galant
Flash 90

A senior member of the Likud-led government’s largest coalition partner may be planning to jump ship from his current faction and join the Likud party, Hahadashot reported Monday.

With the future of the coalition in doubt and the possibility of early elections on the horizon, there are increasing signs from Housing Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu) that he may be planning an exit from Kulanu and run on the Likud list in the elections for the 21st Knesset, to be held sometime in 2019.

Galant met with Likud party activists at a faction event last Thursday, the latest in a series of meetings between Galant and party members over the past few months.

The former IDF chief of the army Southern Command, Galant entered politics in 2015, running on the second spot of the centrist Kulanu party’s Knesset list.

After Kulanu won 10 seats in 2015, becoming the Netanyahu government’s largest partner, Galant was given the Housing and Construction Ministry, and served as Housing Minister for more than three and a half years.

Since the departure from the coalition last month of former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), the government’s relatively comfortable 66 to 54 margin in the Knesset has been reduced to a narrow majority of 61 seats in the 120-member Knesset. That has raised the possibility of early elections, which are currently scheduled for November 2019.

With recent polls showing Kulanu declining in strength while other parties in the coalition are projected to increase the number of seats they hold, Galant’s future as a cabinet member is far from certain.

An average of polls taken in November show Kulanu falling from 10 to 7 seats, with some polls showing the faction winning as few as 5 mandates.

While Galant has denied that he is planning to defect, last Thursday’s event was specifically organized by Likud officials for his benefit.

“You are our flesh and blood, an organic part of the Likud,” Likud central committee member Shabtai Yosef said at the event Thursday.