Sa'ar scores 2nd spot on Likud Knesset list

Erdan 3rd, Rivlin 4th, Begin 5th, Ya'alon 8th, Dayan 42nd; Netanyahu: Likud will bring back hope.

man voting 298 AJ (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
man voting 298 AJ
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Likud Party announced the official results of its primary early Tuesday morning in Tel Aviv. Likud faction chair Gideon Sa'ar won the second spot on the party's Knesset list after Likud head Binyamin Netanyahu, followed by MK Gilad Erdan in third place, MK Reuven Rivlin in fourth, and former science minister Bennie Begin in fifth place. The list continued with Moshe Kahlon, MK Silvan Shalom and former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. (res) Moshe Ya'alon in eighth place. MK Yuval Steinitz won ninth place on the list, Limor Livnat 13th, Dan Meridor 17th and Jewish Leadership activist Moshe Feiglin 20th place. Former IDF deputy chief of General Staff Uzi Dayan was the last name announced, in 42nd place. According to recent polls, Likud could sweep the coming Knesset elections, and as such those who secured high places on the party's list stand to gain senior governmental positions. Netanyahu spoke after the 41 candidates were called to the stage, announcing, "Friends, today we chose a new leadership for Israel." Some 50,000 Likud members cast votes because they "know what difficult challenges Israel faces today: Economic, security and diplomatic," Netanyahu continued. These issues "demand a response," he said, calling the Likud Knesset list "a list that represents Israel." Before the Likud gathering rose to sing the national anthem, Hatikva, Netanyahu vowed that his party would continue work to "bring back hope, security and pride to Israel on February 10th" at the general elections. The Likud suffered an embarrassing blow on Monday when problems with its computer system and long lines at polling stations forced the party's legal advisers to extend the voting in its primary race until 1 a.m. Netanyahu wanted to resume the voting for at least a few hours on Tuesday afternoon, but Feiglin threatened to petition the High Court of Justice, and the party's legal advisers decided that there was no legal basis for allowing the vote to go on for another day. The head of the Likud's election committee, retired judge Yehoshua Gross, said he made the decision to extend the voting in an effort to allow as many Likud members to vote as possible. Gil Hoffman contributed to this report