With Likud’d stunning win of 30 Knesset seats, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu currently holds the keys to a 67 seat coalition, give or take a seat, having secured the support of maverick former-Likudnik Moshe Kahlon, whose Kulanu party scored 10 points.
The Kahlon-Netanyahu partnership could mark the start of a process of the former’s return to the cradle of his political career, and possibly the beginning of his grooming as Netanyahu’s successor.
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Should that be the case, Kahlon would be the very first non-Ashkenazi prime minister.
Negotiations have begun Wednesday morning among all the parties on the right to establish a new Government that would be wide enough to insure its stability for four years.
Netanyahu’s other partners are expected to be Naftali Bennet’s Jewish Home with 8 seats, Shas with 7, Torah Judaism with 7, and Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beiteinu with 6.
Likud sources indicated that even should Eli Yishai and Baruch Marzel’s Yachad party—comprised of former-Shas members and former-Kahanists—pass the 3.8 seat threshold, they is no intention to include it as part of the coalition.
This will be Netanyahu’s 4th term as prime minister. Having clocked just short of 9 years in office, he stands to serve another 4 years, which could get him past David Ben Gurion’s record of 13 years at the helm.