Blow to Likud: Kahlon to quit politics

Moshe Kahlon, who shook up the mobile telephony market, is perhaps Likud's most popular minister.

In what looks like a severe blow to the Likud party, Minister of Communications Moshe Kahlon announced last night that he would not run for the Knesset in the forthcoming election, and that he was considering leaving politics entirely.

"I have decided to take time out and not to stand for election for the next Knesset. I support Likud and Prime Minister Netanyahu. I have agreed with Netanyahu that I will be in the 100-days team," Kahlon announced.

Earlier, a senior Likud source said that Kahlon would shortly inform the prime minister that he was withdrawing from political life.

According to the source, Kahlon has been considering the move for the past two weeks. If he goes ahead with his decision, it will be a surprising step and a blow to Likud, as Kahlon is perhaps the party most popular minister. In his twin roles as minister of communications and minister of welfare he spoke up on social matters in the government, and instituted reform of the telecommunications market that led to the entry of new operators and a substantial drop in the cost of mobile calls, considered the most significant step in the area of consumer affairs by the current government.

Kahlon was also involved in efforts to open up the multi-channel television market to competition, and he promised lower prices for cable and satellite television services.

Kahlon recently promoted changes at the National Insurance Institute meant to lead to greater take up of entitlements by recipients of welfare benefits.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on October 15, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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