Likud Says 60 MKs Have Signed Up for Coalition, Kahlon Denies

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters/Hamodia) -
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s office in May, 2019. (Ariel Schalit/Pool via Reuters)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party said on Wednesday night it had signed up 60 of the Knesset’s 120 lawmakers for a potential coalition, still short of a majority as a midnight deadline to form a new Israeli government loomed.

The announcement was immediately contested, however, by the Kulanu party, one of Likud’s presumed allies. “Kulanu has not signed a coalition deal,” it said on Twitter. Kulanu chief Moshe Kahlon said his party would not be a member of a government with less than 61 MKs.

It was not immediately clear whether Likud intends to set up a non-majority government at this stage.

The chareidi parties were reportedly in favor of such a move, as being preferable to another round of elections.

Following Kulanu’s denial statement, the Likud issued a clarification: agreements with Kulanu have been finalized but the party has refused to sign the coalition agreement until Yisrael Beytenu also does.

Which means that Netanyahu still has no government.