Netanyahu backtracks on Likud races

PM decides to delay races for the Likud’s institutions from next week to an undefined date.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
March 4, 2012 23:19
1 minute read.
Netanyahu votes in Likud primary

Netanyahu votes in Likud primary 390. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu decided over the weekend to delay races for the Likud’s institutions from next week to an undefined date.

The prime minister announced last month that he would run for chairman of the Likud’s convention to prevent the Likud central committee from giving itself the right to decide the party’s next Knesset slate. While such races are usually held over a period of months, he initially decided to hold the election with only a week’s warning.

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But after Government Services Minister Michael Eitan, who is running against him, threatened to take Netanyahu to an internal Likud court and other potential candidates complained, the prime minister backed down.

Eitan expressed satisfaction with the decision, but said he would still go to the internal court to make sure the Likud would abide by its own bylaws “even when not doing so would make it easier for one particular candidate.”

MK Danny Danon, who also wants to challenge Netanyahu, said he wants the election held as soon as possible because he believes he is strong in the field.

Likud activist Moshe Feiglin said that by seeking to hold an expedited race, Netanyahu was trying to prevent people from running. He said the prime minister did a similar maneuver with the race for the Likud chairmanship in which Vice Premier Silvan Shalom did not run.

Feiglin said he believed Netanyahu would end up dropping his candidacy for the convention chairmanship.

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“His candidacy is improper,” Feiglin said. “If he decides to run, I wouldn’t be surprised if he loses.”

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