(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to ask Likud activists vote for the party’s leadership primary to be on December 25, circumventing Likud central committee chairman MK Danny Danon.
“Our goal is to make decisions as soon as possible and not have a long, drawnout process that will hurt the party,” a source close to Netanyahu explained on Tuesday. “Most parties have already completed their internal processes and there is no reason for the Likud to be left behind.”
A Likud central committee meeting was scheduled for Sunday, with a discussion of socioeconomic issues and a speech by the prime minister on the agenda, as part of an agreement between the prime minister and Danon.
Netanyahu plans to introduce a motion to hold a vote for the party’s leader on December 25, along with changes to the party’s constitution, while Danon wanted the constitutional amendments to be made in December but the primary to be held in January.
The Likud currently chooses its list of candidates for the Knesset via a general party primary, but Netanyahu plans to propose changes that require a constitutional amendment. He would want to choose one MK out of every 10 and have the central committee elect regional representatives, instead of the whole party.
Danon called Netanyahu’s plans a “power grab that is destined to fail.
“The prime minister announced publicly that an election for the Knesset is not on the horizon. Therefore, I recommend that central committee members hold the leadership primary in January, after the democratic process of changing the constitution is completed,” he said.
The source close to Netanyahu pointed out that there will be 46 days between next week’s central committee meeting and the date on which the prime minister seeks to hold the primary.
“That is a lot more time than the average in the Likud, which is a month. In the past there were primaries after two weeks,” he said.