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Bennett seeks more power in his party
February 15, 2013 01:28
Bennett will ask Bayit Yehudi's central committee to allow him to select ministers and bring them to the committee for approval.
Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett

Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett 370. (photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post)

Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett called on Thursday for a meeting of his party’s central committee in Jerusalem next Wednesday, in an attempt to expand his authority in the party.

Currently, the central committee votes on the party’s ministers.

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Bennett will ask the central committee to allow him to select ministers and bring them to the committee for approval.

Bayit Yehudi is expected to receive three ministers if it joins Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government. One is reserved for Bennett and one for MK Uri Ariel, the head of Bayit Yehudi’s Tekuma faction.

The third is expected to be contested by MKs Nisan Slomiansky, Uri Orbach and Avi Wortzman.

If the central committee chooses the minister, Slomiansky is expected to win, because he has a strong following among veteran party activists and won the most votes in the race for the party’s Knesset candidates list in November. But Bennett is expected to nominate Orbach instead.

Bennett also intends to ask the central committee to guarantee that party chairmen will continue to be elected in primaries in which all of Bayit Yehudi’s members can vote and to allow him to appoint one of his loyalists as the party’s director-general.

Critics of Bennett in the party said he would face stiff opposition, especially if a top official in the party protests his proposal.

But former MK Zevulun Orlev, who lost the Bayit Yehudi leadership race to Bennett, does not intend to get involved. Slomiansky did not respond by press time.
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