Likud vote on primary set for Wednesday

Netanyahu to focus on attracting former Likud voters who moved to Kadima.

likud 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
likud 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu decided on Sunday to convene the party's central committee on Wednesday to decide whether to change the system for election of its Knesset members. Netanyahu said he wanted the vote to be held as soon as possible so the party could stop dealing with internal matters and instead focus its attention solely on targeting former Likud voters who have moved to Kadima.
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At a rally on Sunday in Haifa, Netanyahu said that shifting the power to elect MKs from the 3,000-member central committee to the 130,000 Likud members was essential for the future of the party. Netanyahu and other Likud MKs sent a letter over the weekend to central committee members praising them, but urging them to give up their power. Netanyahu appointed former Eilat mayor Gabi Kadosh to head his task force working to pass the proposal. The vote is expected to be held by secret ballot, making it possible that it might not pass. "The public has a mistaken impression that the central committee is corrupt," Netanyahu said at the rally. MK Silvan Shalom told the rally that the Likud, Labor and other parties could try to join forces after the election to prevent Kadima from forming a coalition. He made the statement after Kadima officials said it was likely that Kadima would try to form a coalition with neither the Likud nor Labor.