Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday confirmed that he would be advancing the Likud race to January 31.
Speaking at a Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu said: "I want to officially declare that on January 31 we will hold the election for chairman of Likud."The prime minister said that the move would "save millions for our party." The Likud was already set to hold an election on January 31 for a new central committee. Combining the races will save the Likud an estimated NIS 4 million.
Netanyahu stated that by holding the race early, he was freeing himself up "to handle security, diplomatic and economic issues."
Deflecting criticism of the move, Netanyahu said, "Our party is democratic. Everyone can submit their candidacy. We are a unified party. I spoke to every MK in the faction yesterday. I am glad I heard a lot of support."