The Tel Aviv District Court upheld on Monday a ruling of the Likud’s law committee that the party can vote to strip its chairman of key powers, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The legal move marks a milestone in the struggle of young, right-wing Likud MKs to wrest power from current chairman Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his senior allies.
The Likud’s law committee had ruled that the power to convene the party’s central committee could be transferred from the party leader to the head of the central committee, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon. When an internal Likud court overruled the law committee, Danon took the matter to an external court.
If Danon has his way, he will be able to convene the central committee next month for votes on key issues Netanyahu opposes, including opposing territorial concessions and preventing a merger with Yisrael Beitenu.
“We proved the party is democratic,” Danon said after the ruling. “We will make sure the largest party in the Knesset remains loyal to its values.”
The court not only ruled against Netanyahu, it said Netanyahu’s lawyers must compensate Danon NIS 40,000 in legal bills. The judge also criticized Netanyahu for trying to paralyze the party’s institutions.
But the battle isn’t over yet. Netanyahu said he intends to appeal the decision.