Likud leadership race likely to be canceled on Monday

The Likud's election committee is expected to cancel the February 23 Likud leadership primary Monday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the only candidate to submit his candidacy by the Sunday noon deadline, sources in the party said.
The committee, led by former Haifa District Court judge Menachem Neeman, has the sole authority to cancel the race. But other legal authorities in the Likud said the choice was clear.
Former MK Michael Kleiner, who heads the party's internal court, said that when only one candidate submits his candidacy, it means he is automatically the victor. He said it is legitimate that after Netanyahu led the Likud to 30 mandates no one wanted to run against him.
"Netanyahu will lead the Likud until after the next general election," Kleiner said. "Anyone could have run. No one needed to be forced to run against him, and there is no need to waste millions of taxpayer money to have a one-man election just to say we did it. This is not controversial. It's obvious. It's ABC."
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