Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed the head of the Likud central committee, MK Haim Katz, on Sunday night that he will not permit a snap primary for head of the party that could prevent a third election in under a year.According to the Likud’s bylaws, such a primary would only be held if approved by Netanyahu, who has already been chosen as the party’s candidate for prime minister in the current Knesset. Netanyahu gave Katz the impression that he would support holding a leadership primary ahead of the next Knesset election instead of canceling it, as will happen with the race for the Likud’s Knesset slate. Likud leadership candidate Gideon Sa’ar, who wants to run against Netanyahu, asked Katz on Sunday morning to immediately convene his committee to set leadership primaries before the December 11 deadline for any MK to harness enough support to present to President Reuven Rivlin a 61-MK majority to form a government.In his appeal, Sa’ar stressed that this move could have the power to prevent a third election, which Netanyahu himself described as “systemic madness” last Wednesday, the day before Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit indicted him.In his request, Sa’ar wrote that the vote needed to happen as soon as possible because it is still possible to form a government and end the political stalemate. He noted that in 2002, the Likud held a leadership primary in three weeks, when the party had three times as many members.Sa’ar’s proposal sparked a fight inside Likud with MK Nir Barkat, who has announced that he would run for Likud leader but only in the post-Netanyahu era. Barkat accused Sa’ar of harming Likud by trying to unseat the prime minister in a speech to the Bureau of Tax Advisers in Eilat.In a reference to Barkat being the wealthiest MK, Sa’ar responded on Twitter that “He must learn that Likudniks cannot be bought with money, and leadership cannot be acquired with zigzags.” Sa’ar noted that when he helped the Likud fight for survival when it had only 12 seats, Barkat drank champagne at the rival Kadima party’s headquarters when he was with the party.Barkat tweeted back that Sa’ar should be ashamed of himself for not showing loyalty to Netanyahu at a time of crisis and instead “panicking, losing his mind and engaging in the lowest personal attacks against the prime minister and against me.”Meanwhile, Barkat gave Katz his own proposal that the Likud elect a vice chairman in a primary who could serve as prime minister while Netanyahu is incapacitated due to his upcoming trial. Barkat called the proposal “a framework for strengthening the Likud” and sent it to Netanyahu as well as Katz.The proposal said that if Likud holds a primary for party chairman, it would also hold one for vice chairman. Barkat also called for changing the law to extend the current period, in which any MK may form a government, beyond the 21 days currently permitted by law.“Electing and appointing a vice chairman at this time will guarantee support for party leader Benjamin Netanyahu and enable unity in the party and continuity in the government, if Netanyahu will be incapacitated,” Barkat said. “It could also in parallel enable the formation of a unity government.”Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz held a meeting with his closest advisers on Sunday, and considered Barkat’s proposal, but Gantz decided to reject it.Alon Einhorn contributed to this report.