Tensions Rise Ahead of Hearing on Likud Primaries

Standoff expected between Prime Minister and MK Danny Danon, amid rumors that Netanyahu is trying to win allegiances.

Hezki Baruch,

Danny Danon and Bnyamin Netanyahu
Danny Danon and Bnyamin Netanyahu
Tomer Neuberg/ Flash 90

The Likud Central Committee will meet Sunday night and will discuss the date of the primaries and the introduction of changes to the party constitution, against the backdrop of tensions between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Chairman of the party's Central Committee, MK Danny Danon.

Netanyahu wants to hold a vote, during which the central committee members will decide whether to move up part primaries to December 25, and vote on the same day on changes he wants to bring to the Likud party constitution.

Danon, however, is demanding that a hearing be held first on proposed constitutional changes before a vote, and to treat the issue of advancing primaries only afterward - and separately. 

In addition, recent reports indicated that Netanyahu is preparing for new elections, possibly next spring, and that his first step towards general elections is to hold the primaries for the leadership of the Likud.

Danon denounced the move, calling Netanyahu’s plan to move up the primaries “underhanded opportunism.”

"The Likud movement is at the peak of a process of awakening, and I will not allow the silencing of the movement again and the silencing of its members; I won't let them harm the democracy of Likud, the largest democratic party in Israel," said Danon.

Last month, in an attempt to stop Netanyahu’s efforts, Danon announced that elections for the party leadership of Likud will take place on January 28, 2015.

And the crisis has not stopped there: last week, Likud officials made it clear in a conversation with Arutz Sheva that, in their opinion, Netanyahu's insistence on early primaries is solely to provide "a blank check for 3 years to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu" and that "Netanyahu's office's unresponsiveness regarding early primaries raises questions" [over his motive]. 

"The concern is that Netanyahu is trying hard right now to buy the Right's loyalty," a different Likud member stated Sunday, "and after the primaries he won't look at members of his own party and the Right in the face as he begins to consider peace talks to withdraw from Judea and Samaria." 

The Likud member added that Netanyahu understands that he is going to be dealing with a very stressful situation politically.

"We must not forget that the American president has two years left in office and may try to push more [to establish a legacy]," he said. "We've seen this story before with [Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon."




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