(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Likud will elect a party leader in three months, Likud central committee chairman Danny Danon announced on Sunday, without coordinating the decision with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu hoped to hold the primary within a few weeks of its announcement, as he did in the past, but Danon blocked the move, calling it unreasonable, and setting the date for the vote for January 28.
“I understand the prime minister’s request to make the election for the head of the Likud earlier, but we should not act like we’re panicking by setting a date hastily,” Danon said. “We must allow the candidates to prepare for the primary appropriately so that democracy will be done and seen.”
Danon vowed to “fight for Likud’s values of equality and democracy.”
Netanyahu is likely to win reelection by a large margin.
MK Moshe Feiglin is expected to run against him, as he has in the last several primaries, and Danon may do so as well.
Danon also announced that the central committee will hold a meeting on December 24 to vote on changes in the Likud constitution, including determining the way the Likud’s candidates list for the next election will be voted in.
Netanyahu and some of the veteran Likud ministers called for a change in the way the party’s list is chosen, including allowing its leader to appoint people to certain slots, and central committee members have been angling to be the ones to elect the potential MKs, as opposed to an open primary for all Likud members.