18:00
Reported

News Brief

  3/6/2013, Adar 24, 5773

Party Primaries - Not Such as Good Idea after All?


Member of Knesset Yisrael Eichler of the United Torah Judaism isn't too pleased with some of the ideas presented by Naftai Bennett, the new head of the Jewish Home party (Bayit Yehudi). MK Eichler expressed his disappointment in a speech at the Knesset on Wednesday. Formerly known as the National Religious Party, Bennett campaigned to attract secular voters as well. In the past few weeks he has signed a deal with the Yesh Atid party, which is at odds with UTJ over the issue of conscription to the armed forces. MK Eichler criticized the Jewish Home's primaries, the first ever held by the faction. He stated that the result was an abandonment of the original path of the founders of the party. He advocated the continuation of the UTJ's practice of internally assigning Knesset candidates, stating that the constituents would thus be assured of the ideology of the representatives.  The tension is partially a result of the ongoing negotiations in which the ruling Likud-Beiteinu faction may be forced to choose between the two when forming the coalition. Both parties gained seats in the 2013 elections and both were previously in the coalition. The primary system has also been criticized recently due to allegations of "vote buying."  Both large and small parties have the choice whether to hold primarie sor to assign the list of Knesset seats.