Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Likud faction meeting, December 3, 2014.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The head of the Likud’s supreme court, former MK Michael Kleiner, urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday to resolve the dispute over the final realistic slot on the party’s list for the March 17 election by political rather than legal means.
A day after the Likud’s elections committee ruled that Deputy Transportation, Science, and Technology Minister Tzipi Hotovely had defeated former public security minister Avi Dichter by 32 votes, Kleiner decided that the race between them was essentially a tie.
“The chairman of the party should take action, should find a solution, because continuing to deal with this issue day in and day out harms the party,” Kleiner said. “If a solution is not found, my court might have to order a recount of all the polling stations.”
Kleiner recommended that Netanyahu use one of the two slots on the list that are reserved for a candidate of his choosing for Dichter or Hotovely. The prime minister has had trouble choosing candidates for the slots.
A Likud spokeswoman stressed that Kleiner did not overrule the decision by the elections committee and that Hotovely was currently in the 20th slot on the party’s list and Dichter in the 26th. The 21st through 25th slots on the list are reserved for candidates from specific regions and minority sectors.
Kleiner’s court is scheduled to meet again Friday. The Likud and all parties must submit their lists to the Central Elections Committee at the Knesset by next Thursday.
The Likud Supreme Court asked the elections committee to deal with an appeal by former Jerusalem city council member Yair Gabbay, who questioned the results in polling stations in Beit Shemesh and the capital.
If the elections committee accepts Gabbay’s appeal, the Likud will have a Knesset candidate in the realistic 21st slot who is an American citizen.
The Likud received 22 seats in a Panels Research poll taken Wednesday for The Jerusalem Post
and its Hebrew sister publication, Maariv Sof Hashavua.