(photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
The Likud court announced on Thursday that it had rejected Gilad Sharon’s petition to be able to run in the party’s primaries.
Sharon, the son of former prime minister Ariel Sharon, asked to shorten the waiting period necessary after a person joins the party, so he could run for a spot in the Likud primaries – in his case, the Negev spot.
However, the request was rejected because Sharon still has three months and 11 days left to complete the waiting period. He did not receive approval from party chairman Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to shorten the process.
Following the decision, Sharon claimed that this was politically motivated, citing the historical rivalry between his father and Netanyahu.
However, according to Netanyahu’s spokesman, this was not the case.
Earlier this month, the prime minister reportedly refused to sign a waiver allowing Sharon to run in the primaries because he has not been a Likud member long enough, even though he waived Immigration and Absorption Minister Yoav Gallant’s waiting period.
Netanyahu’s spokesman said he had an agreement with Transportation Minister Israel Katz, chairman of the Likud secretariat, not to sign waivers for anyone other than Gallant – in order to give a fair chance for longtime party members to run and receive high slots in the primaries.
Earlier this month, Sharon announced that he would run in the upcoming elections with the Likud.
In a recent interview with Army Radio, he said that his father did not want to destroy the party, adding that “there was a disagreement over the disengagement from Gaza. Like everyone else, I would be happy if the head of the party would express his support for my candidacy, but I’m not depending on it.”
Following his decision to run, there was a large outcry by evacuees of the 2005 Gaza disengagement. Some members of the party’s central committee – who were among the evacuees – wrote to the party’s court, asking that Sharon’s son not be allowed to run.
They called the younger Sharon “the architect of the disengagement.”
One member of the panel, attorney Yitzchak Bamm, told Channel 20 that while Netanyahu could have overridden the rule and allowed Sharon to run, he declined to do so. “For Netanyahu, Sharon’s past in politics and in the public service, and the fact that he took an active role in one of the biggest tragedies in Israeli history, were enough to provide legitimate grounds against authorizing such a request.”
Sharon, who has never officially delved into politics, runs his family’s sheep and cow farm near the southern city of Sderot.
Despite his lack of political experience, it is a known fact that he supported his father’s decision to disengage from the Gaza Strip.
Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.
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