Netanyahu Fights for Likud Party Primaries

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may have swept March's general elections, but he faces a different test Sunday as the Likud Central Committee's 3,700 members prepare to vote on reinstating their power to choose the party's Knesset slate. 

Currently, and since 2006, in the wake of the Kadima split, the 100,000 Likud party members selects the list's candidates, as occurred in December 2014 before recent elections.

But a recent push from a number of dissatisfied Likud MKs has forced Sunday's upcoming vote. 

Netanyahu, in favor of maintaining the primaries system, has put his weight behind a compromise whereby party members will choose candidates for the national list, while the Likud Central Committee will select district representatives. 

Opposing the Prime Minister is veteran Likud member and recently-elected MK David Amsalem, who has long been pressing for Likud to return to its previous system. 

What concerns Netanyahu the most, Haaretz estimated, is the likely loss of 7 million shekels ($1.79 million) should party membership stop paying dues upon realizing their now limited powers, as well as the potential revival of Likud's "corrupt" image thereby influencing the numbers of votes the party receives in future elections. 

As such, Netanyahu has been making great efforts to coax committee members to adopt his stance; he has also managed get 26 of 30 Likud Knesset faction members to sign a letter supporting his compromise, Haaretz reported. 

Likud Central Committee members will vote on three possible proposals on the subject Sunday: Netanyahu's compromise, Amsalem's push for power to revert back to the committee, and a third suggestion to establish a new electoral body to decide on the Knesset list. 

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/196710

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