Regev congratulated Katz prior to the release of the official results.
Also Sunday, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon was elected chairman of the Likud Central Committee while Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin won the vote for chairman of the party's Ideological Committee.
- Likud infighting: Regev, Erdan vs. Katz
- Danon elected to head Likud convention
- Deputy FM Elkin: Palestinians unwilling for talks
The ballots closed at 10:00 pm after 2,935 Likud party members, some 80% of those eligible to vote in the factional election, had cast their votes.
While announcing that she was running for the chairmanship of the Likud Secretariat – a key role within the party, putting its holder in charge of the budget and the running expenses – Regev aggressively slammed Katz, who has served as Secretariat chairperson for the past 10 years
Regev told Ynet her goal was to prevent the merger with Yisrael Beiteinu and promote transparency within Likud ranks, and restore to party activists the ability to influence proceedings. According to Regev, Katz has manipulated the secretariat for his own profit, effectively stalling its functioning.
Katz during Likud election day (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
However, senior party sources estimated early on that despite Regev's best efforts, the well-connected Katz would be elected for another term.
MK Regev with supporters (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
The results of the race for another coveted post- head of the Likud Central Committee - were considered a foregone conclusion, as hawkish Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon was expected to register a sweeping victory. A total of five nominees vied for the post.
In a meeting with party activists Tuesday, Danon pledged to revitalize the party if he is elected chairman of the Central Committee. "Today's results will have one clear message: The Likud is returning to the field," he said. "We’ll bring back to Likud the living spirit, the young, ideological spirit."
Some analysts said Danon's election will represent a blow for party chair Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as he's trying to establish an atmosphere of cooperation with US Secretary of State John Kerry, engaged in a round of shuttle diplomacy aimed to bring Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.
Deputy foreign minister Ze'ev Elkin prevailed over the competition in his run for the head of Likud's Ideological Committee, a largely peripheral body that serves as an arena for ideological debate.
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