Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Yaron Brener
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Effie Eitam
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Likud members wary of Eitam induction

Party members warn Netanyahu's attempt to increase budget by pushing merger with religious-Zionist Achi Party may backfire in form of internal 'world war'

The Likud party will convene Thursday evening in a show on unity ahead of the nearing general elections, but some fear the gathering may get a little out of hand in view of the recent attempts to bring Knesset Member Effie Eitam's religious-Zionist Achi Party into the Likud fold.


The Likud would like to increase the party's expenditure limit ahead of the elections, from NIS 28 million to NIS 40 million (approx. $7.21 million to $10.3 million), a move which a partnership with another party will allow.


Recent legal predicaments, however, may prevent the merger, which calls for securing the 39th slot on the Likud's Knesset roster for Eitam.


One concern voiced was that Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu may try to secure a higher place for Eitam, one that has a better chance of translating into a Knesset seat, pushing other candidate further down the roster, and possibly out of the 18th Knesset.


Any attempt to bump Eitam higher than the 35th place on the roster, warned a source in the party, may bring about "a world war": "If Netanyahu tries to derail some of the candidates it could spark a heated conflict in the party, not to mention harming the party's right-wing identity."


As if to compound the problem, MK Yoel Hasson, head of the Kadima faction in the Knesset, asked State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to look into the possible Likud-Achi merger.


"Considering the fact that just a few weeks ago Netanyahu stopped Eitam from running in the Likud primaries, this could hardly be an ideologically-motivated merger," he said in his petition.


פרסום ראשון: 12.25.08, 13:03
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