Likud Central Committee to Set Primary Date

At a special session in Ariel Monday, Likud's Central Committee will determine the final date and regulations for Likud primaries.

Shlomo Pyotrkovsky, Cynthia Blank,

Danny Danon at Likud meeting (file)
Danny Danon at Likud meeting (file)
Flash 90

The Likud Central Committee will meet Monday in Ariel to approve conduct rules for its primary elections. The primaries will determine the party's leader as well as its Knesset list for March's upcoming elections. 

Danny Danon, the Likud Central Committee Chairman, who has often clashed with current party leader, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, revealed the meeting in an interview Sunday morning. 

He also noted that the committee will be asked to determine the dates for the Likud elections, despite the fact that the date of January 6, 2015 had already been set. 

In the aftermath of the 19th Knesset falling apart, Danon spoke openly about Likud's failures and also called for new faces to join the party. 

"If we do not go back to the path of the Likud we are in trouble. Freezing construction and releasing terrorists is not the Likud. We must return to our way soon, we are now steering the wheel and we must not be afraid." 

"Immediately after the law dissolving the Knesset passes, we’ll gather the Likud Central Committee and we’ll be open to anyone who wants to join....The Likud is a democratic party that gives a chance to everyone.”

Netanyahu, meanwhile, is angling for early primaries, so as to prevent former Likud Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar from challenging him for leadership of the party.

Sa'ar, who stepped down last month to take a break from politics, could potentially be Netanyahu's main opponent to maintaining Likud leadership, which Likud MK Miri Regev touched on in recent remarks. 

"There is no doubt that if Gideon Sa'ar will run for the Likud leadership, it will change the face of reality. I call on him to come home at such an important time."

Sa'ar has only one week left to submit candidacy for Likud leadership, meaning that Netanyahu's attempt to advance primaries could force him to make the decision in mere days. 

Likud sources revealed that Netanyahu already last week held discussions to check whether primaries could be moved up, a move which would pressure Sa'ar, but which Netanyahu presented as being meant to increase preparedness for general elections on March 17.

It remains unclear, however, what type of proposal Netanyahu will offer to members of the Central Committee. 

Danon, who also is running in the primaries, hinted last month that both Sa'ar and former Likud minister Moshe Kahlon stepped down because of Netanyahu.

"The leaders of the movement must conduct a self-examination and find out why central and important people are leaving the Likud," he stated. 

Primary voting will be conducted through secret ballots by members of Likud's Central Committee at four different locations around the country. 




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