Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon does not appear on the Likud party’s list of candidates for the upcoming elections and is expected to end his political career with the swearing-in of the next Knesset, according to a Friday report.
Likud party representatives approached Kahlon recently to prepare the paperwork for his Knesset candidacy, but he said he was not interested, Channel 12 news reported.
The party may use his spot on its ticket to try to appeal to Ethiopian voters, who left the party in droves in the last election for Blue and White due to their dissatisfaction with the ruling party’s handling of police violence, the network said.
Kahlon began his Knesset career in 2003 as a lawmaker for Likud, passing popular reforms as communications minister before leaving the party and taking a break from politics in 2013 amid rumors of tensions with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He founded Kulanu in 2015, becoming the most senior partner in the Netanyahu-led government with 10 seats. 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.
Reports last year said that Kahlon was looking to quit politics, telling his associates he no longer felt challenged. Kahlon denied the reports at the time.
Israel has had a transitional government since December 2018, when the Knesset voted to dissolve and go to early elections. A third round of elections will be held March 2, after the previous two failed to result in a government, a first in Israeli history.