Likud mulls proposal to give Netanyahu more power within party

Fate of the partnership between Likud and Yisrael Beytenu will also be decided at party's convention.

November 20, 2013 01:12
1 minute read.
PM Binyamin Netanyahu speaks to reporters at the start of the Likud faction meeting in the Knesset.

Netanyahu at Likud meeting 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu could get significant new powers over the Likud Party he leads if a proposal by a group of mayors passes in the upcoming Likud convention.

Netanyahu has suffered from his lack of control over the party in recent years. He was unable to reserve slots on the Likud’s Knesset list for candidates he supported, such as economist Shlomo Maoz and basketball iconturned- statesman Tal Brody, and he was unable to appoint a new Likud director-general.

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The mayors, led by Modi’in’s Haim Bibas, want the convention to approve a proposal that would enable Netanyahu to reserve one slot in every 10 on the list.

He would also be able to appoint his own people to the Likud’s institutions and name his director-general without needing the approval of the party’s governing secretariat, which is led by his critic Transportation Minister Israel Katz.

That proposal is one of 200 that the Likud’s law committee is currently vetting.

The committee began hearing proposals Tuesday night and will make decisions Thursday on which proposals will come to a vote in the Likud convention, which will take place the week of December 15.

Among the proposals the law committee heard were those that would enable central committee members to choose the Likud’s MKs and that would schedule the Likud’s leadership race for just before a general election.

Netanyahu has accelerated proceedings of the leadership race twice in order to prevent potential challengers from preparing.

The fate of the partnership between Likud and Yisrael Beytenu will also be decided at the convention.

There will be proposals to merge the parties, break them up, or wait until the next general election to decide.

One idea that will be considered is shortening the 16- month waiting period for new members to be able to run for office with the party and vote for its MKs. That would enable Yisrael Beytenu members to join Likud en masse.

Activists also proposed preventing ministers or MKs who vote against Likud central committee decisions in the cabinet or Knesset from running again with the party.

This means, for example, that if the committee decides it opposes relinquishing land to the Palestinians or releasing murderers from prison, a Likud politician’s career could be over if he votes in favor of such steps.

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