Levin: Coalition Rocky, But No Split

September 19, 2014  

The current coalition may be at risk, according Coalition Chairman MK Yariv Levin (Likud), after Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) announced his resignation from politics and in light of a rift with Yesh Atid.

“From day one, our partners in the coalition have, rather than pursue the interests of their offices and act on behalf of the public that elected them, become more concerned with threats and ultimatums,” Levin charged in an interview with Arutz Sheva on Friday.

Regarding the possibility of new elections, however, Levin was less certain.

“It is unclear whether such threats will materialize,” Levin said, “but what is certain is that there is no reason to hold elections on such short notice, it is irresponsible.” 

In the meantime, he said, Yesh Atid needs to establish where it is going, politically.

“This is actually a time of opportunity for Yesh Atid,” Levin stated, noting now is the time for the party to prove “if they want to stop their threats [of a split] and to work together or not.”

“Otherwise, there will be no escape from changing the composition of the coalition,” he continued, noting that hareidi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism (UTJ) have agreed to enter the coalition instead. What is stopping an immediate change, however, is Yisrael Beytenu, which has not yet agreed to the swap.

As such, according to Levin, “the time is not yet ripe [for a coalition change].” 

Levin also discussed Sa’ar’s announcement of his resignation earlier this week, calling the declaration “a serious loss.” 

“There is no doubt that who we are losing here is not only a member in the Knesset, but one of the most prominent leaders of the [Likud] movement, a talented man who did a lot as an MK and as minister,” he said. “I regret his decision to take a break [from politics] and I have no doubt that he will return to lead Likud [eventually].”

Even if not, Levin said, “the Likud movement has, over decades, provided a long list of leaders – both retired and new. The avenue for leadership [in Likud] today is very broad.” 

Levin had no suggestions for the replacement of Sa’ar as Interior Minister, however – despite rumors that Communications Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) is a prime candidate for the post. 

“There is currently no sense of urgency, I’m not convinced that another minister will be appointed [soon],” he dismissed. 

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