Likud central committee unlikely to change electoral system

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly backs the current system.

June 12, 2015 07:17
1 minute read.
likud election

Celebrations at the Likud headquarters in Tel Aviv, March 17, 2015. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Some 3,600 members of the Likud central committee are to be eligible to vote at 10 polling stations across the country Sunday on a proposal to change how Israel’s ruling party elects its Knesset members.

The central committee members would decide whether to keep the current system by which MKs are chosen by the 100,000 Likud members, give themselves the exclusive right to choose the MKs or adopt a compromise proposal by which Likud members would select the party’s top candidates and the central committee would pick candidates further down the list in slots reserved for new candidates from specific regions.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly backs the current system. His point of view has been given a boost by the negative press surrounding the MK Oren Hazan scandal.

Although Hazan was chosen via the current system, he is seen as a product of the central committee and he backs giving the central committee the right to choose the entire list.

Netanyahu received a further boost Thursday when the ballots for Sunday’s vote were revealed. The ballots provide four options, with the fourth being none of the above three proposals.

To change the status quo, any of the four options would be required to receive 51 percent of the vote. Splitting the ballot in four makes achieving that much support difficult.

The only way for the central committee proposal to win is for that option to win 51%.

Netanyahu’s option can win either by it receiving 51%, the none-of-the-above option winning 51% or none of the four winning 51%.

MK David Amsalem, who is the main proponent of the proposal to enable the central committee to choose all the party’s MKs, asked an internal Likud court Thursday night to require only a majority for his proposal to pass. He vowed to take the matter to a district court if the internal Likud court decides against him.

“You can’t change rules in the middle of the game,” Amsalem said. “I am ready to go to court to prevent the political thievery of Netanyahu from succeeding.”

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