Former minister Gideon Sa’ar, thought to be a likely contender for Likud leader, said on Thursday he would not run for the expected early primary, implying it is rigged in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s favor.
Asked on Twitter whether he would run in the early vote, which Netanyahu seeks to hold on February 23, Sa’ar wrote: “I do not act in puppet shows.”
“I wish luck to Netanyahu in the contest, and to the rest of the actors in the show,” the former interior and education minister added.
Sa’ar, who was seen by many in the Likud as a potential heir to Netanyahu, announced that he was taking a break from politics over a year ago, before the most recent election was called.
Since then, there have been sporadic rumors of a comeback, often sparked by public comments he has made on the political situation, like on Saturday night, when he criticized the government’s response to terrorism, tweeting: “When will the all-talk government start seriously taking care of those who enter [the country] illegally, and effectively close the [Palestinian] Authority’s territory?”