Endangered Meretz to vote on cancelling primary on Sunday

Sa'ar vows to win 40 seats if he beats Netanyahu

Meretz leader, Tamar Zandberg voting (photo credit: Courtesy)
Meretz leader, Tamar Zandberg voting
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Meretz will vote on whether to keep its current list of candidates for the next Knesset at a convention in Tel Aviv on Sunday, amid polls showing the left-wing party teetering on the electoral threshold.
A poll published in the Makor Rishon newspaper on Friday found Meretz would not cross the threshold if the March 2 election were held now.
“This is a critical moment that cannot be taken for granted,” Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz wrote on Facebook on Friday. “Blue and White might be able to form a Center-Left government but it might not be their top choice. Even after attempts to form a unity government failed, Blue and White is still looking rightward.”
Horowitz wrote Gantz would only be able to form a Center-Left government if Meretz is strong.
KAN reported on Friday night that Blue and White intends to initiate a public campaign to force Labor-Gesher leader Amir Peretz to unite with Meretz in order to prevent a situation in which one of the parties fails to cross the threshold and make it harder for Benny Gantz to form a government.
Labor activists appealed a decision to cancel the party’s primaries for its leadership and Knesset list over the weekend. They also appealed a decision to enable Peretz to reserve two slots in the party’s top 10 for candidates of his choosing.
Meanwhile, a Likud court will convene on Monday to cancel a decision to force the party to hold a primary for the party’s list for the next Knesset. The decision is expected to influence Thursday’s Likud leadership primary between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his challenger, MK Gideon Sa’ar.
In a speech to Likud activists in Afula on Saturday night, Sa’ar said if he wins the primary, the Likud will win 40 seats on March 2, but if Netanyahu wins, the Likud will not form the next government.