Report: Barkat plans to run in Likud Primary

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is apparently ready for 'the next level,' an Army Radio report said. Not everyone is likely to be happy.

Moshe Cohen ,

Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat
Hadas Parush/Flash90

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat will announce in the coming days that he will seek a spot on the Likud's Knesset list for the next election. The announcement, a report on Army Radio said, will be made at the beginning of next week.

Barkat has been informing friends and associates of the news, and Army Radio obtained a copy of the message.

An election committee in formation confirmed the information, and told the station that the news was correct, and that Barkat “had decided to make the announcement on December 15. We have assembled many volunteers to help Nir tale his place as a central leadership figure in Israel."

The activists will attempt to sign up members to the party and lobby existing members to place Barkat on a high spot in the next Likud primary, according to the message.

It remains to be seen how Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will take the news, Likud insiders said in the report, since he is known to consider Barkat as a possible rival for leadership of the party.

Although sources close to Netanyahu have said that the Prime Minister is considering getting out of politics after his current stint, he would want to groom his own successor – and it is unlikely to be Barkat.

Another government official who will likely be unhappy about Barkat's ascent to national politics is Kulanu head and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.

Several weeks ago, Barkat led a demonstration outside the Finance Ministry demanding more funds for Jerusalem – which were eventually granted, but with Barkat notably absented from the discussions.

According to sources, Kahlon is furious that Barkat did not stand up for his brother, former Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Koby Kahlon, who was forced to resign over allegations of financial improprieties surrounding several real estate deals.