Netanyahu: If elections are held, Likud will hold primaries

Gideon Sa'ar welcomes PM's pledge to hold primaries for Likud leadership if the Knesset dissolves itself and elections are called.

Ben Ariel ,

Netanyahu and Sa'ar
Netanyahu and Sa'ar
Sharon Revivo

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged on Monday that if it is decided to hold a general election, primaries for the Likud leadership will be held.

"The Prime Minister is not acting against primaries. If a general election is decided upon, there will be primaries for the leadership of the Likud and Prime Minister Netanyahu will win big," said a statement on behalf of Netanyahu.

MK Gideon Sa’ar, who is planning to run against Netanyahu for the leadership of the party, welcomed the statement on Twitter.

“I welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu’s announcement regarding the holding of agreed upon primaries for the leadership of the Likud. The Likud is the largest political movement in Israel and has a grand democratic tradition. We will establish a positive, respectful and clean election system in which I will present clear plans and positions in all policy areas. The members of the Likud will decide,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, a poll by the Kantar Institute published on Monday evening on Kan 11 News found that, if Sa'ar leads the Likud in the next election, the party will win 32 seats, compared to 34 if Netanyahu heads the party.

However, in a scenario in which Sa’ar heads the Likud, the right-wing bloc will win 57 seats, compared to 56 in a scenario in which Netanyahu is the Likud chairman.

The biggest beneficiaries of Sa’ar's leadership would be the New Right party which is projected to win 8 seats in such a scenario, as well as Shas which would strengthen to 9 seats and Yisrael Beytenu, which would receive 8 seats.