Netanyahu Likud 390.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continued his campaign to lead the Likud
Central Committee on Monday, telling the party’s MKs that all Likud members
should be allowed to choose its Knesset candidates.
Last week, Netanyahu
announced he would run for central committee chairmanship.
The vote will
take place on March 22, during the first central committee convention in more
than a decade. The committee determines the party’s constitution, budget and
other details. Government Services Minister Michael Eitan and MK Danny Danon are
running against Netanyahu for the central committee chairmanship.
prime minister presented a Bloomberg
article about economic growth, attributing
the success to policies of opening the market and making it more
Netanyahu then explained that the same rules apply to the
Likud, which grew to lead the current government. Power used to be very
centralized, allowing only 3,000 central committee members to choose the MK
list, he said, and now the party is more open, so that all 130,000 members can
“We must continue in moving away from a centralized,
closed party,” he added, “and we will continue to develop the growing
Last week, Netanyahu was quoted as threatening to break off
from the Likud if power was returned to the committee.
activists offered him a compromise, in which only the MKs representing different
regions and sectors would be chosen by the central committee.
they said the committee should have the right to veto ministers selected by the
Also on Monday, Eitan called for the elections for the
central committee’s chairmanship and presidency to be conducted by secret
The minister explained that the reasoning behind his call is to
allow central committee activists to vote “without any worry or unpleasantness,”
a thinly-veiled reference to those who fear incurring Netanyahu’s wrath by
voting against him.
Currently, central committee votes take place by
raise of hand, with each member’s name and choice declared out loud. Eitan seeks
to have a private voting booth instated at the convention next
According to the Likud’s constitution, 10 percent of central
committee members are enough to demand such a vote. Eitan made a form available
on his website for committee members to sign and send to his office.