Once and for all, Likud primaries canceled

Thanks to Likud court decision, Netanyahu will retain power of the Likud party through to next national elections.

Tags: Likud
Cynthia Blank , | updated: 6:08 PM

Netanyahu celebrates in Knesset
Netanyahu celebrates in Knesset
Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90

Two days after it was determined Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would run against himself for leadership of the Likud, the party's court canceled primaries altogether. 

As such, Netanyahu will continue to serve as chairman of the Likud and will be the its candidate for premier in the next general elections.

The Likud election committee ruled on Monday to hold primaries on February 23, despite Netanyahu being the only candidate. Voters would have been tasked with choosing between a blank ballot and one with the Prime Minister's name printed on it. 

The decision was made despite the estimated four million shekel cost of the election as well as the potential embarrassment if registered Likud voters went with the blank ballots over Netanyahu. 

In his appeal to the Likud court, the party's comptroller claimed elections would be an unnecessary expenditure that would only serve to deplete the party's coffers as there was only one candidate. 

The Likud's legal advisor appears to have been prepared for the court's decision, and no appeals are likely to be filed.

Likud Central Committee chairman, Welfare Minister Haim Katz, welcomed the decision, noting he fully supports the Prime Minister as the man to lead Likud into elections for the 21st Knesset. 

The Likud Central Committee approved holding early primaries two weeks ago - a move widely seen as an attempt by Netanyahu to ensure victory and maintain leadership until 2023, by removing potential rivals such as former minister Gideon Sa'ar. 



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