2015 elections

Ex-Likud minister Kahlon to call his new party Kulanu

Popular center-right politician seen winning 10 or more seats in polls ahead of March elections

Moshe Kahlon speaking in Tel Aviv on December 2, 2014. (photo credit: Flash90)
Moshe Kahlon speaking in Tel Aviv on December 2, 2014. (photo credit: Flash90)

Former Likud minister Moshe Kahlon is to call his new political party Kulanu — which translates as “All of us,” Israel’s Channel 2 news revealed on Wednesday night.

Kulanu’s logo includes a stick figure with the tagline that translates to “we are all for Kahlon.”

In the days since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disbanded his coalition last Tuesday, opinion polls have suggested Kahlon’s party could win 10-13 seats in the March 17, 2014 elections.

While rumors swirl about leading economists, ex-police chiefs and others who might be joining him, Kahlon has not yet announced any other members of his party.

His political positions are also somewhat unclear. At a pub on Friday, Kahlon said he was not opposed to territorial concessions if they were to bring about a peace accord with the Palestinians. He described himself as “center, a little right.” In the past, he had opposed Palestinian statehood and the dismantling of settlements.

Posted by ‎כולנו – בראשות משה כחלון‎ on Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Kahlon, 54, is most famous for his work to open up the mobile telecom industry to competition when he was communications minister from 2009.

He was first elected to the Knesset in 2003, when he served as deputy speaker of the house. He became communications minister in 2009, and replaced Isaac Herzog (Labor) in January 2011 to head the Welfare and Social Services Ministry, where he continued his consumer crusade and fought the banks to lower their tariffs for customers.

In 2012, Kahlon surprised the political establishment when he announced he would not run in the national elections in 2013, neither as part of Likud nor with any other party, in order to take a break from politics.

Kahlon is the son of Libyan immigrants, and grew up in a rough neighborhood of Hadera as one of seven children.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed