Likud holds primaries to elect candidates for Knesset

Some 140,000 registered Likud members in 110 voting sites to place 70 candidates in the party list after polling shows it is expected to win 35 Knesset seats; Netanyahu intervenes to block candidate with violent crime conviction as he seeks to appeal to liberal right vote

Moran Azulay|
140,000 eligible Likud members are expected to vote on Wednesday in 110 voting sites across Israel to fill the party's Knesset slate list, except for the top spot, held by veteran leader Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • 70 candidates registered in the national roster list, and 40 other contenders will fight for the regional district slots as candidates fight for the top spots.
    2 View gallery
    בנימין ושרה נתניהו בקלפי להצבעות הפריימריז בירושלים
    בנימין ושרה נתניהו בקלפי להצבעות הפריימריז בירושלים
    Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu during previous Likud primaries
    According to current polling, In the November elections, Likud is expected to gain 35 seats, to be the largest faction as it seeks to regain power after failing to form a government after the 2020 ballot.
    The battle for the first five slots will be between senior Likud members and between other candidates who gained power and are considered to have strong support.
    Former MK Miri Regev, a loyal ally of Netanyahu, hopes to keep her place at the top, despite reported deals with voters groups, to send her to a lower position on the list. Other women are not expected to reach top positions.
    But the party, which was in power for 12 years until it was ousted in the last elections, has been grappling with its image as extreme. Members who had gained notoriety in recent years, have been vocal in their attacks on Israel's legal system and law enforcement after Netanyahu was indicted for corruption in 2019.
    2 View gallery
    הפריימריז לליכוד בבת ים
    הפריימריז לליכוד בבת ים
    Likud primaries
    (Photo: Asaf Kemer)
    The party which had historically held liberal views, had rejected from its list, members who were deemed unfaithful to the leader and lacking in right-wing and nationalist view.
    Netanyahu's challenge now is to present a list of candidates who will appeal to traditional constituents who may be less inclined to support some of the more outspoken members.
    Netanyahu went to great lengths to block the candidacy of one man who had been indicted for home invasions and assaulting a woman, appealing to the courts and calling on members to withhold their support of him.
    The voting began at 9 am, and will end at 9 pm - then a manual counting of the votes will begin in a procedure that may take a few hours.
    Likud leader Netanyahu hopes to get prestige, and a stable list as much as possible, without candidates with criminal records or potential for desertion. To achieve his goal, Netanyahu, intervened openly and abnormally and called not to vote for the leading candidate in the Tel Aviv district, Dudu Laniado, who was previously convicted of home invasions and assaulting a woman.
    The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.