Kahlon Left Off Likud List

Knesset Minister Moshe Kahlon in September, 2019. (Flash90)

The most eloquent of the political obituaries written so far for Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon was the one that said nothing about him at all.

Kahlon’s name was left off the Likud party’s list of candidates for the upcoming elections on March 2. No formal announcement could be more final.

Likud representatives approached Kahlon recently to prepare the paperwork for his Knesset candidacy, but he told them he was not interested, Channel 12 news reported. It was the latest sign that the stories about his departure, not yet publicly confirmed by Kahlon, are true nonetheless.

Kahlon entered the Knesset in 2003 on behalf of Likud, and passed popular reforms as communications minister before leaving the party and taking a break from politics in 2013 amid rumors of tensions with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

He founded Kulanu in 2015, and became the most senior partner in the Netanyahu-led coalition with 10 seats. But since then, his popularity has waned. In September, he ran on a joint ticket with Netanyahu’s Likud after his party lost more than half of its support in the April vote, winning just four Knesset seats.

He has served as finance minister since 2015.

At this stage, it is not clear whether Kahlon will remain as minister of finance during the transition period before a new government is formed, Globes noted.