The latest version of the joint Likud Beiteinu Knesset list caused a stir late on Wednesday as it revealed that several Likud
politicians have been pushed out of their spots.
Members of Yisrael Beiteinu
were ranked higher on the list than was expected when the leaders of the two parties, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman,
announced they were merging ahead of the Knesset elections.
The list was revealed less than 24 hours before the deadline to submit the final Knesset tickets.
But five Likud candidates angered at being pushed aside have filed a petition with the Tel Aviv District Court demanding to prevent the submission of the list to the central election committee.
"Bibi sold us out," a top official within the Likud said, referring to Netanyahu. "He just gave in to Lieberman, who took care of his own people at the expense of Likud candidates."
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The new draft saw Yair Shamir and ministers Uzi Landau, Sofa Landver and Yitzhak Aharanovich, all of Yisrael Beiteinu, moving one spot up on the list, while ministers Gilad Erdan and Yisrael Katz, Knesset Member Zeev Elkin and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin of the Likud moved one spot down. All remained ranked within the list's top 15.
"The deciding spots are now equally divided between the two parties… as though the two parties are equal in size," a senior Likud official explained.
A new Likud candidate accused the parties' leaders of fraud.
"We were clearly told how the ranks will be determined, and last night we found out that we've been pushed down to unrealistic spots," he said. "We won't let this go. They waited until the last minute so we won't be able to take action against this scheme."
It stands to be noted that Rivlin has taken the dive willingly. On Wednesday he informed Netanyahu and Lieberman he would switch places with Minister Landver in order to allow female representation on the list's top 10. He therefore gave up the 10th spot on the list, and is now ranked 11th.