Dissatisfied Likud MKs: Time to Dump Primaries

Ayoub Kara is seeking to prevent a repeat of the 'bitter taste' among many Likud members over the way the government was formed.

Yaakov Levi ,

MK Ayoub Kara
MK Ayoub Kara
Nati Shohat, Flash 90

The 20th Knesset's government has been set into place – after many weeks of tension, disputes, threats, tears, and other forms of high drama – with the process leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of many Likud MKs, who feel they were passed over for ministries or other senior positions.

To prevent that in the future, a number of Likud MKs are advocating a return – partial or whole – to the previous system used by the Likud to choose candidates for its Knesset list. Among the leaders of that movement is Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara, who said that the Likud Central Committee must choose at least some of its members of the party's list for the next election.

“We must return to the Likud Central Committee to prepare the party's list, but obviously a system that ensures that the Committee's politics remain 'clean' will be important as well,” said Kara, who said that the party should examine methods of choosing candidates used in other countries, such as Switzerland.

Currently, the Likud list is decided upon via a primary process. Numerous party members have complained that the system gives the Prime Minister too much influence in choosing party candidates. After the December primaries, for example, Michael Pu'ah, a close confidante of Moshe Feiglin and a member of the Likud Elections Committee, railed against the election process in the Likud, after it emerged that Feiglin would not achieve a “realistic” position - among the top 20 - on the Likud list.

Pu'ah attributed Feiglin's exclusion from the list to the direct intervention of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who, he told Arutz Sheva, has long been looking for ways to “dump” Feiglin. “Instead of a 'celebration of democracy,' as Netanyahu portrayed the primary process, this was a farce of democracy,” said Pu'ah. “I walked out of the vote counting in the middle of the night, after it emerged that Netanyahu had 'fired' observers from the vote count process,” with no one supervising the voting process. As a result, “there was no connection between the truth and the results of the primary. We will probably never know the truth, but I do not believe the results they are telling us,” said Pu'ah.

The Central Committee chose the party's list until 2006, when in the wake of the Kadima split Netanyahu advocated a primary system to present a “cleaner” image for the Likud, with the Central Committee having a reputation for corruption.