Likud Holds Primaries for Party List Ahead of Elections
i24 News – Primary elections for Israel’s right-wing Likud party opened on Wednesday, ahead of the November 1 legislative poll.
The internal election came a day after primaries for Israel’s center-left Labor Party closed, which saw young lawmakers lead the ballot.
For Likud, incumbent parliament members are fighting for their place on the party list, as some are facing a reality where they will not be eligible to be part of the next government, partly due to the party’s renewal mechanism.
Likud gives priority to new lawmakers to enter the party list over existing members of the Knesset.
Currently with 28 seats in parliament, the opposition party — led by Benjamin Netanyahu — reserves places for those from certain districts and sectors, allowing new contestants to have an easier time being a part of the Likud list than those already on it.
New contenders who are considered to have strong chances of joining the party list include Israel Hayom’s editor in chief Boaz Bismut, former Israeli envoy to the UN Danny Danon, attorney Tali Gottlieb, and ultra-Orthodox activist Leli Deri.
Others fighting for a place on the list include Knesset members Nir Barkat, Yariv Edelstein, and Yoav Galant. Some of the seats are reserved for Knesset members Idit Silman and Amichai Chikli, who did their part in sparking Israel’s fifth election in less than four years by withdrawing from the current coalition government.
There are 140,000 eligible voters for the Likud party. Wednesday evening, it was announced that voting was extended until 10 p.m. due to low voter turnout. As of 5 p.m., only 31 percent of the registered voters had gone to the polls.