Mayoralty Hopefuls Say Let Netanyahu Pick

Zeev Elkin, Minister of Yerushalayim Affairs. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Who will be the Likud party’s nominee for next mayor of Yerushalayim?

Ask Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

That’s what two senior Likud politicians said as they reportedly agreed to let party chairman Netanyahu decide which of them should run for Likud.

Yerushalayim Affairs and Heritage Minister Zeev Elkin and coalition whip David Amsalem both want to succeed outgoing mayor Nir Barkat, but to avoid a messy fight they referred it to the PM, according to Haaretz on Tuesday, citing high-up Likud sources.

Besides Elkin and Amsalem, Zionist Camp MK Nachman Shai is also reportedly waiting for an opportune moment to announce his candidacy.

Shai will have to move his legal residency to Yerushalayim from Mevasseret Zion to qualify, Hadashot reported. Amsalem has already changed residency, according to reports.

Former deputy mayor and currently Kulanu MK Rachel Azaria may also be running. Haaretz reported Tuesday that she is waiting to see who the competition will be before deciding on whether to run.

Barkat announced several weeks ago that he would not seek a third term, and confirmed rumors he would run for the Knesset on the Likud slate.