Likud Cancels Primaries for Knesset List

A man casts his vote at the Tzfas Likud polling station in February 2019. (David Cohen/Flash90)

The Likud secretariat on Motzoei Shabbos confirmed that there will be no primaries for the Likud slate ahead of the March elections.

In addition, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will receive six spots on the list that will be reserved for candidates of his choice. 91 members supported the proposal, ten opposed and one abstained.

Among others, Netanyahu was given the fifth spot on the slate for a senior figure from outside the Likud and the tenth spot on the slate for a candidate from within the Likud.

In addition, Netanyahu will be permitted to assign candidates of his choice in the 26th and 30th spots on the slate. According to reports, one of these spots will be given to Minister Orly Levy-Abekasis, who ran previously on the Gesher party ticket, which later merged with Labor.

There were also reports that Netanyahu is considering securing a spot for an Arab candidate on the Likud slate.

Netanyahu promised at a meeting of the Likud secretariat that Arabs would vote for the party, saying, “I tell you, this time the Arabs will vote for us.”

Asked about reports that he was considering reserving a spot on the Likud list for an Arab candidate, Netanyahu would not confirm or deny the reports but said, “I think it is a natural change that is happening now. For many years the Arab public has been outside the mainstream of power. Why? There is no reason for that.”

Meanwhile, the most democratic party in Israel is seemingly the Labor party, after a court forced the party Sunday to hold primaries for its leader and list. As of now, Labor is the only recognized party to be holding primaries ahead of the elections.