Gideon Sa'ar: I'll compete for leadership of Likud

'Personal attacks and defamation won't change my decision. The days of unopposed elections are over.'

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Gideon Saar
Gideon Saar
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

MK Gideon Sa'ar attended a conference of Likud activists in Tel Aviv on Thursday evening and announced for the first time that he will run for leadership of Likud in the upcoming primaries.

"We, all of us, are backing the prime minister in his efforts to establish a broad national unity government," Sa'ar said. "This is warranted by the election results. It is necessary to address the heavy challenges we face, especially the national security challenges."

He said that all Likud members fully support Netanyahu. "Even if the mandate goes to Blue and White or the Knesset, we will all continue to stand together. The Likud will stand together and the national camp will stand together. I am hopeful that the long-awaited unity will be achieved for the sake of the people and the state."

Sa'ar hinted at Netanyahu's attempts to hurt him politically, "My friends, there's a big difference between backing the chairman of the movement and attempts to delegitimize democracy in the Likud. I'm saying in the most clear way: When elections for the prime minister are held - I will run."

''Personal attacks and defamation won't change my decision. Free competition is the lifeblood of a democratic movement like Likud. The days of unopposed elections are over."