Likud to advance primary

Katz, Erdan spar at faction meeting over allowing some members of list to be selected by committee.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman gives a statement to the media at his Jerusalem office December 2 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman gives a statement to the media at his Jerusalem office December 2
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Likud’s law committee will convene next week to begin the process of deciding when and how to elect the candidates for the next Knesset.
The party’s leadership race is set for January 6, and the rest of the Likud’s Knesset candidates will be voted on later that month.
Transportation Minister Israel Katz and Interior Minister Gilad Erdan sparred at Monday’s Likud faction about whether to continue electing the entire list in primaries among the whole party membership or let part of the list be selected by the Likud central committee.
The Likud central committee will make a final decision, most likely at its next meeting, set for December 24 and 25.
Yisrael Beytenu’s central committee decided Sunday that the party would run alone in the next election after the failed experiment of running together with Likud. The party has made an effort to differentiate itself from Likud since deciding to end their partnership six months ago.
It also decided that if the party joins the next government, its ministers will quit the Knesset to allow later candidates on the list to enter the Knesset. Yisrael Beytenu will take that step in order to have full-time MKs in the Knesset and to demonstrate the need to separate the executive branch from the legislative.
Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman told reporters at the Foreign Ministry he hopes the next government will function better than its predecessor.
“It’s no secret the people of Israel don’t know why we’re going to elections after less than two years,” he said. “It could have been different. After the election, we will need a government that can unite to handle all the challenges. I hope the election will be serious, professional and without unnecessary struggles.”
Meanwhile, Bayit Yehudi continued fighting Tuesday over how to combine the National Union MKs onto its list.
Bayit Yehudi faction head Ayelet Shaked said she expects an agreement to be reached soon.
Sofia Ron, the political analyst of the Makor Rishon newspaper, quit her job and announced she would seek a seat with Bayit Yehudi.
The more hawkish Strong Israel party, which narrowly missed the last Knesset, announced that it would run again. Bayit Yehudi officials, however, mocked the party, saying it had no chance of getting elected.