Netanyahu agrees to appoint Kahlon finance minister

Moshe Kahlon

Coalition talks are underway as President Rivlin is set to ask Benjamin Netanyahu to form Israel's next government.

The finance ministry portfolio will go to Kulanu party chairman Moshe Kahlon, Channel 2 reports. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly agreed to fulfill his campaign pledge to make Kahlon finance minister, regardless of how many seats he were to win in the elections. In the event, Kulanu won 10 Knesset seats and will be the governing Likud party's largest coalition partner. Talks will soon get underway to agree what other cabinet portfolios Kahlon's party will receive.

Netanyahu's agreement to appoint Kahlon finance minister is part of the coalition-forming negotiations, and today President Reuven Rivlin will officially ask the Likud leader to form the next government.

Netanyahu has also already met with Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett in the prime minister's office and an official statement said that, "the talks were held in a pleasant atmosphere." Habayit Hayehudi sources said that no cabinet positions were discussed but rather the overall policy guidelines of the new government.

Another definite appointment that has been agreed is that of United Torah Judaism's Moshe Gafni as head of the Knesset Finance Committee. Kahlon has agreed to drop his demand for this position for his party, on condition that Gafniwill support all the reforms that Kahlon plans initiating, on such topics as the Israel Land Authority and competitiveness in the banking system.

Moshe Kahlon
Moshe Kahlon
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