Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat (Likud) appealed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday, asking him to annul the party primaries.
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"Over the past few days we have seen reports suggesting the primaries system is vulnerable to criminal behavior, such as using ballot solicitors, private investigators and more.
"(…) There is no doubt that the primaries system, which I was among its strongest supporters, and which means to create the widest possible participation base among party members and reflect a democratic process – is no longer democratic and may even do a disservice to the voters," she wrote.
Livnat noted that the Likud's own primaries saw some of its most senior members – party moderates Dan Meridor, Benny Begin and Michael Eitan – voted out.
She noted that a review of the parties' registrants books revealed at least 2,800 people who were registered members for both the Likud and Habayit Hayehudi, which is illegal under Israel's Political Parties Law, and in punishable by up to one year's imprisonment.
"Time and again, we see how people worm their way into the Likud in order to promote their own interests, but they don't vote for it in the elections. They number in the thousands and most of them seem to reside in Judea and Samaria," Livnat wrote.
The veteran Likud member continued: "Mr. prime minister – this cannot be allowed to go on. Our duty, both to the party and to the public is to put a stop to this situation.
"I urge you to convene the Likud caucus immediately after the government is formed and demand… that the party charter be amended to annul the primaries."
Livnat added that the party should "Devise the proper alternative that would enable Likud members to choose the best list while excluding any criminal elements that may try to make their way onto the Knesset list."
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