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Netanyahu pushing for early primaries, Likud MKs say

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing to hold early primaries in the Likud in a bid to capitalize on his current electoral strength within the party, a number of Likud lawmakers have said according to a report by Israel Hayom.

Tuesday morning’s report cited multiple Likud MKs who said that Netanyahu is hoping to hold internal elections as soon as possible, adding that the prime minister is concerned that his influence within the party will decline once he leaves office and becomes Opposition Leader.

The timing of the party’s primaries will be decided by Finance Minister Yisrael Katz – who serves as party secretariat – and Haim Katz, the chairman of the Likud central committee, who is opposed to holding an internal election at this time.

One Likud MK said that Netanyahu’s replacement as premier could mark the beginning of the end of Netanyahu’s political career.

“It will take time, but this could be the beginning of what has already become a cliché, the ‘end of the era of Netanyahu’. It isn’t over yet, but this could be the beginning of the end.”

Another Likud MK cited in the report said that opposition within the party to Netanyahu is growing.

“It’s like watching one of those nature documentaries, when the elder lion starts to show signs of weakness, the younger ones start sniffing around him.”

On Monday, Kan 11 News reported that Health Minister Yuli Edelstein has informed senior Likud members that he intends to run for the party leadership against Netanyahu, saying in closed conversations that “Netanyahu needs to be replaced.” He has also met in recent days with prominent activists in the party and asked for their support.

Source: Arutz Sheva

Header: Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks in the Israeli Parlament during a vote on a bill to dissolve the parlamentl at the Knesset, December 02, 2020. Photo by Alex Kolomoisky/POOL