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netanyahu looking suspicious 370.(Photo by: REUTERS)
Likud set for June 30 election showdown
By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN
PM Binyamin Netanyahu faces steep opposition after being booed by his own party members at last year's convention.
The Likud’s election committee worked out a compromise between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his party rivals on Wednesday regarding how to handle elections for the leadership of the party’s institutions.

The elections are seen as a key bellwether of how strong Netanyahu is in the party, and they are expected to have a big impact on the Likud’s future. The prime minister has been pushing off holding the elections for more than a year.

But after the Tel Aviv District Court ruled that the elections must be held by June 30, Netanyahu and his opponents decided to hold the races on that last possible day.

There apparently will not be a Likud convention with speeches, after Netanyahu was booed at the last convention, in May 2012.

Netanyahu and his rivals continue to disagree on procedural matters that will have an impact on who runs in the elections. Candidates will have until next Tuesday to join the race.

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon is considered the leading candidate for chairman of the powerful Likud central committee. He will be challenged by party activist Michael Fuah, who is close to MK Moshe Feiglin.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin and MK Tzipi Hotovely will vie for the chairmanship of the party’s ideological bureau. Transportation Minister Israel Katz is expected to keep his job as head of the Likud secretariat that oversees the party’s finances, though MK Miri Regev might run against him.

The most powerful post that will be elected is chairman of the Likud’s internal court.

Netanyahu had supported retired judge Nissim Yeshaya for the job, but he dropped out of the race after he was scolded for saying that “some women enjoy rape.”

Netanyahu hopes to bring in a new candidate, but the court hinted that it could be legally problematic.

The prime minister is concerned that if a right-wing Likud activist is elected to the job, the courts will be used against him.
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