Five months after he was booed at a May 6 Likud convention, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu decided not to attend his party’s convention at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds Wednesday night.

The booing Netanyahu received from extremists in the party for his initiative to elect himself president of that convention was seen as one of several reasons that the prime minister ended up signing a coalition agreement with Kadima the following night.

Wednesday’s convention will approve a series of procedural decisions about how to elect the Likud’s candidates for the next Knesset and provide an opportunity for Likud candidates to mingle with key central committee members.

The Likud’s law committee decided Tuesday night to maintain reserved slots for women, immigrants, a non-Jew and a young candidate.

In an effort to open slots on the list for current MKs, the party decided to enable current MKs to win two realistic slots that were previously limited to candidates who had never served in the Knesset.

The convention is expected to decide to set November 25 as the date for the Likud primary.

It will be the last convention presided over by retiring Likud central committee chairman Moshe Kahlon, who is expected to be the star of the event.

Likud Knesset candidate Tzahi Hanegbi – the last central committee chairman before Kahlon – said he urged the present chairman not to leave politics. He also offered to mediate if a political dispute was the reason for his departure.

“It weakens Likud to see such a popular minister leave,” Hanegbi said. “In my 30 years in politics, I don’t remember a minister’s departure causing people such personal distress. People told me they felt terrible to see him go. It says something about him.”

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger