The hype over a potential independent Knesset bid by popular Likud Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon has been quashed with news that Kahlon is putting his name behind prime minister and Likud chief Binyamin Netanyahu and announced that he will not abandon the party.
Kahlon is known for introducing reforms to the telecomm industry which led to significantly reduced prices to cellphone users. He was projected to win as many as 20 seats in an election with him as the head of his own party.
However Kahlon announced that he will be taking a two year leave-of-absence from politics – which he had announced prior to the swell in publicity surrounding a rumored run for Knesset – enrolling at Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program.
Kahlon said he will work to ensure the success of Likud in the upcoming elections, as well as to continue reforms to lower the cost of living and promote social consciousness.
The decision comes after reported tension between Kahlon and Netanyahu, due to Kahlon’s alleged belief that Netanyahu was elbowing him out, keeping him out of the loop on decisions such as the merger with Yisrael Beiteinu.
Kahlon faced significant heat from Likud leaders for considering an independent run, with some calling him a traitor to the party.