If a bill introduced by a Likud MK wins passage, voting in political primaries in Israel will take on a new reality, requiring the primary participants to vote for that party in the general election as well, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The bill comes in the context of an uproar in the Likud over an attempt by so-called “New Likudniks” to join the party in order to steer it back toward the political center, according to media reports.
Likud MK Yoav Kisch, who sponsored the bill, explained it as a way to protect the party from outsiders with agendas that are not acceptable to the rank-and-file. If someone who votes in a primary is then bound to vote for party slate in the elections, it will discourage those who do not intend to stay in the party and support its goals.
“Every democratic party has a right to defend itself and its ideology,” Kisch said.
“The bill is intended to prevent Trojan horses in parties and stop illegitimate hostile takeovers using membership drives.”
In a challenge to to the New Likudniks, he said: “They claim they are Likudniks?
Let’s see how many of them are ready to vote in the primaries when they know it will automatically count them as voting for Likud.”
Likud activist Elidor Cohen submitted a petition to an internal Likud court on Monday demanding expulsion of the New Likudnik leaders.
“There has been an unacceptable phenomenon of leftists who decided to join the party in order to elect MKs whose agenda do not fit the party’s values and then won’t even vote for the party in the ballot box. This is undemocratic and harms the party,” said Cohen.