Habayit Hayehudi to Demand Justice Portfolio in Next Government

MK Ayelet Shaked says her party wants to alter the composition of judges and ensure greater balance.

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Uri Ariel at a cornerstone-laying ceremony in East Jerusalem, August 11, 2013.Credit: Michal Fattal

The Habayit Hayehudi party intends to demand the justice portfolio in the next government, senior party officials said on Friday.

"We want to have justice in the next government" in order to change the composition of judges on the High Court and make it "far more balanced," said MK Ayelet Shaked. She was speaking at a conference of the free weekly newspaper Sheva.

Earlier, Housing Minister Uri Ariel told the conference that he would be happy to take over the Justice Ministry.

"I will be satisfied if Minister Ariel takes the portfolio, though there's definitely a possibility that I will be there," Shaked said.

Former Likud minister Moshe Kahlon, who is expected to contest the elections at the head of a new party, also referred to the allocation of ministerial posts on Friday, telling reporters that he would not take the defense portfolio, if offered it.

"People need to understand what they're doing," Kahlon said. "Social and economic issues are what I understand; I come from there and that's where I'm heading." Kahlon was speaking at an event in Tel Aviv.

Habayit Hayehudi and Likud have agreed on an excess votes agreement which will be signed over the next few days, party sources said on Friday. The agreement enables the party gaining the highest amount of excess votes to use the votes of the other party to gain an additional Knesset seat.

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