Finance Minister: Pretend we already held new elections

New elections will bring the same results, Min. Kahlon says.

Chana Roberts ,

Voting box (illustrative)
Voting box (illustrative)
Sraya Diamant/Flash90

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Likud) on Tuesday suggested that Knesset members pretend Israel has already held a third election.

Speaking at a Budget Department conference, Kahlon pointed out that new elections are likely to bring the same results.

"If there are new elections - it'll be the same thing. There's no decision. So let's pretend that we already held new elections, and form a government," he said.

"Each bloc tried to form a government with members of its own bloc - and it didn't work. When there is a tie, we split the points between us."

Israel held elections in April of this year, and again in September. After April's elections, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was tapped to form a government, but failed due to the refusal of Yisrael Beytenu and the haredi parties to reach a compromise. The Knesset then voted to dissolve itself, scheduling a second round of elections for September.

Following September's elections, the political map remained largely the same. Netanyahu was tapped first to form a government after the rival Blue and White party took steps to ensure it would not have the larger number of MKs who recommended its chairman, MK Benny Gantz.

Netanyahu and the leaders of the New Right, United Right, Shas, and UTJ parties formed a 55-member bloc, represented in coalition talks by the Likud's negotiating team.

After Netanyahu handed back the mandate to form a government, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin tapped Gantz to form a government, giving him 28 days to succeed.

If Gantz fails to form a government, there will be a 14-day period during which any MK can attempt to gather the support of 61 MKs and form a government. If no one succeeds, Israelis will be forced to hold a third round of expensive and unnecessary elections, lengthening the amount of time the country has been without a functional government to approximately one year.