Netanyahu Seeks ‘Arrangement’ to End Likud Primaries

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israeli Prime Minister and Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu is seeking to annul his party’s primary elections and is weighing the option of creating an “arrangements committee,” which he will lead, Ynet learned Wednesday.

In recent days, Netanyahu has been holding talks with his aides and senior Likud officials on how to put an end to the current method of choosing party members via primaries.

“People who don’t vote for the Likud are the ones to determine our party’s list, at the end of the day,” he said.

Netanyahu hinted that organized groups within the party’s registered members are manipulating the primaries and “are undemocratically pulling the strings of our party’s list composition. … This change must be implemented now; otherwise, we will collapse,” he warned.

Netanyahu reportedly said that such a move, which is likely to encounter stiff opposition within the party, should be pursued prior to forming the new government and the distribution of Cabinet portfolios — which can be used as leverage to secure the potential ministers’ support.

“After the portfolios are assigned, this move will be moot, because the ministers will be less indebted to him,” a source close to Netanyahu explained.

Netanyahu is considering appointing an “arrangements committee,” a method already adopted by Yisrael Beiteinu, Yesh Atid, Kadima and others.