Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Likud faction meeting, December 3, 2014.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received good news on Wednesday from an internal Likud court, which ruled that the party must elect its candidate for prime minister and the rest of its Knesset candidates list together on December 31.
A smaller court ruled on Monday that the two races must be separate. Netanyahu appealed to an expanded court panel, citing the high cost of having the two votes on separate days, as has been done in the past.
Netanyahu’s associates said holding the two races on the same day would boost voter turnout and enable him to win by a wider margin. They had expressed caution that a vote for Likud leader on a different day would have a low turnout, which would help his rivals in the race, MKs Moshe Feiglin and Danny Danon.
The court delayed its ruling on Netanyahu’s request to reserve two slots for Knesset candidates of his choosing at the 11th and 23rd spots on the Likud list.
Among the people Netanyahu is considering for those slots are former IDF deputy chiefs of staff Yoav Galant and Uzi Dayan, renowned economist Shlomo Maoz, and national icon and former basketball star Tal Brody.
One potential candidate who will not be on the list is former minister Dan Meridor, who was once considered a possible future Likud chairman.
Meridor said in interviews on Wednesday that even if he was offered the top slot on the list, he would not take it.
“Netanyahu is leading us to nowhere,” he told the Knesset Channel. “I don’t have any interest in today’s Likud.”