Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon attend a news conference announcing the appointment of the new Bank of Israel Governor, in Jerusalem, October 9, 2018.
(photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)
The Likud’s internal court rejected an appeal by Likud MKs Ariel Kallner and Michal Shir on Sunday to cancel the party’s merger with Kulanu for the September 17 election.
Kallner and Shir had argued that the decision to give four realistic slots to the four current Kulanu MKs would not help Likud and was not approved by the proper party institutions. They suggested a compromise of taking in Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Economy Minister Eli Cohen, who are both former Likud members, and rejecting Construction Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton and MK Roy Folkman.
But the court, led by former MK Michael Kleiner, ruled that the merger with Kulanu was legal, but that if the party’s chairman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wants to add anyone else to the party list, he would need approval from the Likud central committee.
The decision could come into play if Netanyahu changes his mind and decides to grant a reserved slot on the list to former justice minister Ayelet Shaked. There has been talk of reserving another slot for an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, in an effort to woo voters from Yisrael Beytenu.
The court unanimously rejected another appeal to force a new Likud primary both for party chairman and the party’s list for the Knesset.
“There is no reason to hold another primary,” the court ruled.
An appeal to be added to the list by Pinhas Idan, former union leader of Israel Aircraft Industries workers, was similarly rejected. Idan won the 19th slot on the list in the last Likud primary, but the Central Elections Committee rejected his candidacy because he had not quit his job at the union in time to be able to run. The court ruled that even though there has been enough time since Idan quit, he would not be put back on the list.
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