Welfare Minister Chaim Katz said Thursday that as the Likud gears up for new elections, it should place Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on the list of candidates. “She would be a worthy candidate and would strengthen the Likud electorally,” Katz said.
After the April election, in which Jewish Home, the party she ran together with Naftali Bennett, failed to meet the electoral threshold, sources close to her said that she was planning to join the Likud, and was marshaling her supporters to join the party and vote her into a high spot on the Likud list in the next party primary.
However, primaries are now suspended, at least for the upcoming September election, and if the Likud wishes to include her on the list, she would need to be approved by the Likud Central Committee and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
That leaves the question of the fate of Shaked’s running mate – Naftali Bennett, who, unlike Shaked, is not welcome in the Likud, Walla News quoted Likud sources as saying. Bennett and Shaked met on Wednesday, prior to the Knesset decision to dissolve itself. The Walla report said that the two had decided to part ways in the next election.
It is unclear what Bennett will do, but he is said to be interested in running again. Several news outlets said that he was considering a run with Moshe Feiglin, who said Wednesday that unlike in the previous election, his party would seek to cooperate with other parties or political figures in the upcoming one.
However, Feiglin has not made any statements on whether he would run again. According to Yediot Acharonot, his Zehut Party is deep in debt as a result of loans taken out to finance the last election.
The Likud sources said the decision on including Shaked in the list was completely Netanyahu’s. Reports earlier this week said that there was a possibility that she could be placed at number 28 on the list – replacing Eliyahu Ben-Dahan, whom the Likud had “imported” from Jewish Home in order to support the United Right List and ensure a coalition between its disparate elements.