Netanyahu wins fateful Likud vote

Netanyahu's proposal received 1,557 votes, which was 57.9 percent.

June 15, 2015 03:00
1 minute read.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu votes on Sunday, June 14, on a proposal to change how Israel’s ruling party elects its MKs. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's compromise proposal won Sunday's vote in Likud, changing the system for how the party will elect its candidates in the next election cycle.

According to the proposal, the party's top candidates will continue to be chosen by its 100,000 members. But slots reserved for new candidates from specific regions further down the list will be selected by the 3,700-member Likud central committee.

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The central committee members were deciding whether to keep the current system by which Knesset candidates are chosen by the 100,000 Likud members, give themselves the exclusive power to pick the MKs, or adopt the compromise proposal – backed by Netanyahu.

Among the central committee members, 2,689 cast ballots. Netanyahu's bid received 1,557 votes, which was 57.9 percent.

Likud MK David Amsalem's proposal to enable the central committee to pick the entire Likud list received 1,040 votes, which was 38.7%.

The ballots provided four options, with the fourth being none of the above three proposals. To change the status quo, any of the four options would require 51 percent of the vote.

After the final results were announced, the prime minister thanked Likud central committee members, for "showing responsibility, standing behind my proposal and voting in favor of the Likud and the unity of the party." He promised to continue to lead the country as "the ruling party" for "many years to come."

"The committee has spoken," MK Amsalem said in a statement after the vote, calling the night a "big win for Likud." He lauded the "impressive, democratic process" which saw over 2,000 members show up to vote to "decide how Likud representatives will be nominated in the next Knesset."

"As I've said from the get-go," he added, "the main winner tonight was the democratic process in which we all participated."

He congratulated Netanyahu for holding a fair and honorable election, and said he accepted the results and the voters' say. "I have no doubt that these internal elections strengthened the party and I am glad to have been a part of this," his statement read.

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