The Likud party on Wednesday, approved its final list of candidates for Knesset, including three names appointed by party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, two of them former political allies of Naftali Bennett, who turned against him.
Netanyahu gave the 14th and 16th spot to Amichai Chikli and Idit Silman, former members of Yamina, and the 28th spot to an outspoken former senior police member, critical of the indictment charges brought against the Likud leader.
Two other seats were offered to an author, who is a member of the Ethiopian community and lawyer who had supported his position against former prime minister Ehud Olmert.
Chikli and Silman were promised a safe spot in the Likud Knesset faction for bringing down the Bennett-led coalition. Netanyahu faced pressure from Russian, Druze and Ethiopian representatives who told him that they would not vote for his party a representative of the Ethiopian community, is not on the list.
In a statement Netanyahu said Likud had presented a great list of candidates. of his picks, he said “they are all talented, worthy and have made significant achievements in their fields. Together with our party members, we will bring four years of stability and a strong government to Israel.”
Netanyahu acted to placate tensions which rose following the results of the party’s primaries elections, along with conflicts that arose among members over some senior members of Knesset, who were pushed down the list by more vocal supporters of the former prime minister.
Even after calls to increase the number of women at the top of the list, only one, former minister Miri Regev, was among the top ten.
Some party officials criticized Netanyahu over his management of the election campaign. Netanyahu has been touring the country in a bus complete with a bulletproof window, making him seem aloof and out of touch, according to some. “You don’t win an election by parading a bulletproof bus, some said. "You are oblivious to the reality in the field," they said.