Photo: Yaron Brenner
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Sunday, the Likud will hold election for a number of key party positions. Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon was elected head of the Likud convention late Tuesday, stealing the spotlight, but tensions are rising within the party.
Friday, the battle for the position of party secretary general got ugly. The elections is facing party bigwig, Minister of Transportation Israel Katz, against outspoken MK Miri Regev; with Sivan Shalom, Gilad Erdan and Gideon Sa'ar throwing their weight behind Regev.
Regev announced she is running for the Chairman of the Likud Secretariat in an interview to Ynet and aggressively slammed the current chair holder, Katz.
Regev told Ynet her goal is to prevent the merger with Yisrael Beitenu and promote transparency within Likud ranks, and restore to party activists the ability to influence proceedings.
Acording to Regev, Katz has manipulated the secretariat for his own profit, effectively stalling its functioning.
Katz refused to comment on Regev's allegations and Friday, two days before the vote, he received an additional blow from Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan.
Erdan sent out a telemarketing voice recording to all eligible Likud voters slamming Katz's management of the secretariat. "In the last decade the secretariat has become paralyzed and things were done without transparency," he said.
The support behind Regev stems not just from a desire to depose Katz but also because of a desire by some Likud members to block the merger with Yisrael Beitenu who is viewed – especially by the Likud's younger generations of leaders such as Erdan and Sa'ar – as a threat to their leadership.
At a more personal level, it is also possible that the group is interested in blocking Katz's initiative to open an inquiry committee into what he dubbed the "failure" of the elections. The move is effectively an attack on Sa'ar and Erdan who managed the Likud campaign during the previous election.
Regev is convinced she has what it takes to win the secretariat and is in the meantime boosting up campaign efforts in what she hopes will be her last ditch efforts to secure the role.
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