Activists: Likud Trying to Keep Rightwing Names Off the List
Despite adding a second day of voting in its party primaries, the Likud still hasn't gotten it right, say party activists in Judea and Samaria. While the party decided to open the polls Monday in much of the country to enable party members who did not vote Sunday due to computer problems to have their say, that decision did not extend to much of Judea and Samaria. “It's like something out of the Sharon era,” famous for its party corruption and improprieties, said one activist.
The reason for the decision, said the activists, is because of reports that rightwing candidates in the party were slated to dominate the Likud list. Rightwing MKs are far less likely to support Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu if he attempts to actualize his “two-state vision,” as laid out in several major policy speeches over the past several years. In order to prevent the right from having too much influence – and keeping, among others Manhigut Yehudit leader Moshe Feiglin off the list altogether – the decision as made to keep many polling places in Judea and Samaria closed, thus preventing many rightwing voters from choosing their candidates.
While according to Likud rules, any party member may vote at any polling station around the country, the activists said that it was likely that many Likud members who are unable to travel to places where polling stations are open would be able to do so, because of transportation and other issues. Altogether, only 40 out of the 200 polling places were open Monday, few of them in Judea and Samaria.
After a Likud activists group filed a complaint with the Central Election Committee, the Likud was ordered to open polling stations in the Yesha communities of Barkan, Sha'ar Binyamin, and Otniel. Even though the Committee issued the order Monday morning, it was only later in the afternoon that the stations opened.
“This is a clear attempt to change the outcome of the elections,” said Likud activist Aviad Visuly. “This feels like the period when Omri Sharon was chairman of the party,” added Visuly, an attorney who along with the “Our Likud” activists group filed the petition demanding that more polling stations be opened in Yesha. The group demanded that the polls be open on Tuesday as well, in order to give voters in Judea and Samaria the opportunity to vote.