Likud's primaries took place in early January, but just now the fight for the 20th seat – one of the last realistic spots on the party's Knesset list – has come to an end Wednesday, with Deputy Minister Tzipi Hotovely squeaking past former minister Avi Dichter by a mere 101 votes.
As a result, Hotovely will receive the 20th spot on the list, while Dichter will be relegated to the 26th spot behind several designated spots, likely leaving him in an unrealistic position given the results of recent polls which show Likud not reaching that many mandates.
Her push against the recount came after she urged the Likud Court to "do whatever it takes for justice to prevail" two weeks ago when she had the 26th spot. However, last week the Likud Election Commission bumped Hotovely up to the much more realistic 20th spot ahead of a recount, likely explaining her change of heart.
Likud Court President, Attorney Michael Kleiner, explained to Arutz Sheva on Wednesday that from now on, it would be preferable for such conflicts to be resolved within the party, rather than outside in courts.
"Likud has an elections committee and a court, and those who turn to courts outside, there's room for mistakes in the decision like happened here," Kleiner said. "The Supreme (Court) already ruled that it would be better for courts not to get involved in party procedures."
Kleiner, a former MK, said Likud head and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu didn't reserve seats for Hotovely or Dichter as he is able to, because he "wants to use his appointments to bring in new faces and not to use existing faces."
"The recount costs us a lot of money, this time we demanded – what unfortunately wasn't done in the first recount – that beside every table there be representatives for Dichter and Hotovely," said Kleiner. "The expenses in counts like this are enormous"
He concluded "what is clear – we succeeded in proving that there is no party more democratic than the Likud that lets members choose its representatives to the Knesset."