Hotovely Challenges Kahlon to Back Right-Wing Bloc

December 4, 2014  

Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) called on former Likud Minister Moshe Kahlon Thursday to declare that he will only be a partner in a nationalist government. 

Hotovely’s Facebook comments came a day after Channel 10 News reported that Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman and Kahlon are considering cooperating with one another in the next elections. 

This cooperation could come into play after the election with the three parties agreeing to recommend one candidate to serve as Prime Minister, but the three could also work together during the election itself and present a joint front on some issues.

Kahlon, formerly a popular minister with Likud, took a break from politics before the last elections in 2013, but has re-emerged in recent weeks with a new, unnamed as of yet, party, which he announced Wednesday.

He also outlined Wednesday some of his new party’s platform, saying it would be focused on economic development and fixing the cost of living crisis.

Channel 2 poll released Tuesday suggested that Kahlon’s new party would win 10 seats in the 20th Knesset, if the elections were held now. 

“Only a strong right-wing bloc led by Likud can lead this country,” Hotovely wrote. “I call on you, Moshe Kahlon – you grew up in the Likud movement. Now is the time to tell the public that you will only join a nationalist government led by Likud.” 

Continuing, she wrote, “Making such a statement will effectively stop the Left from forming a bloc, and will bring the public the news that it wishes for: strong right-wing policies with an additional focus on the socioeconomic fight to lower the high cost of living.”  

“As someone who stood in Likud protests lines during the disengagement [from Gaza in 2005], we expect you not to abandon the right-wing base,” Hotoveli added, reminding Kahlon of his past political stances. 

“The lack of a clear statement during this election campaign and recommending leftist candidates could lead the Israeli people to a government under Yitzhak Herzog (Labor) and Zehava Gal-On (Meretz),” Hotovely stressed.

“In order to be honest with your voters, it’s time to announce who you will support for prime minister.” 

In recent days Hotovely has made repeated appeals to other right-wing parties, including both Kahlon’s and Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party, to form a united bloc with Likud in preparation for elections in March 2015 – although she does not appear to have received a response.

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