Sources in the Likud say that there are forces within the party that are trying to substantially downgrade the spot on the list for olim (immigrants) in the upcoming primaries. Historically, the Likud always saved a spot on the list for a new oleh or olah that needed to be elected in the party’s primaries. The Likud hasn’t yet set a date for the primaries, but it is assumed that it will take place at the end of July or the beginning of August.
In the last primaries, the Likud internal court decided that former MK Avraham Nagosa couldn’t represent the party in the 27th slot, since the spot was reserved for a member of the party who wasn’t yet in the Knesset.
The slot saved for olim was then temporarily canceled and Nagosa was positioned in the 50th slot, which wasn’t close to being realistic for him to become a MK.
Candidates for the oleh slot in the Likud are Michael Lobovikov, who made aliyah from Russia, and David Sadon, who made aliyah from France. Another possible candidate is veteran Likud activist Dan Iluz who made aliyah from Montreal – but who also sees himself as a representative of French immigrants.
The olim slot can potentially be moved down on the list, as far as 39, according to a source in the party who claimed that the ones who are trying to make this change are former ministers Haim Katz and Yariv Levin.
If the Likud will permit former MKs to be elected to the olim slot, MK Gadi Yevarkan, who represents the aliyah from Ethiopia, is expected to run. Yevarkan originally became an MK as a member of the Blue and White Party but was later removed from their list after threatening to defect to Likud. He was offered the twentieth slot on the Likud list for the 2020 elections and was elected as a member of the right-wing party.
A Likud spokesman said that there haven’t been decisions yet regarding the olim slot and the slots for representatives of the local regions, saying that “the decision should be finalized this week.”