Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Likud central committee voted to allow Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to appoint one candidate to the party’s list on Wednesday night.
Netanyahu’s appointee will be in the 21st spot. His favored structure for the party list was approved with 63% in favor and 36% opposed.
“I thank the members of the Likud central committee for the great support for me and my proposal,” Netanyahu said after the vote.
“Likud is united ahead of the upcoming election in which we will ask for the public’s trust to continue to lead the State of Israel to great achievements in security, foreign policy, society and economics.”
The central committee approved Netanyahu’s proposed structure for the party’s list, such that national candidates will be in the first 18 spots, and a mix of districts and national spots after that.
An immigrant will be in the 28th spot, and the rules were changed from previous elections such that it will not only be for a new candidate, but also for freshman lawmakers. This will allow incumbent MK Avraham Neguise or Sharren Haskel to run.
The change to the immigrant spot on the list was a separate voting item, and passed with a very narrow majority, 781-771. Several new immigrant candidates campaigned strongly against it, even petitioning the party’s court.
Only 42.5% of the central committee’s members voted, despite Netanyahu robo-calls going out to the members several times on Wednesday, with the following message: “I call on you to go vote today in favor of the proposal to strengthen our Likud movement ahead of the election for the Knesset. Go vote.”
The spots for new female candidates are 25, 35 and 39, a candidate under 35 in 32nd, a new non-Jewish candidate in the 30th spot, and a new haredi candidate at 43rd.
Unlike in past primaries, the non-Jewish spot must go to a new candidate, which means that Communications Minister Ayoub Kara will not get his usual automatic place on the list, and he will have to compete with the other serving MKs for a regular spot.
The Likud is polling at about 28-30 seats in most surveys in recent weeks.
About a third of the current 30 Likud MKs are not expected to return to the next Knesset
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>