Netanyahu under pressure as party eyes December 26 primary


ISRAELI Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party is set to hold a primary, amid the rumblings of an internal power struggle in light of corruption charges facing him.

A Likud spokesperson on Wednesday said the heads of the right-wing party have agreed to hold the leadership primary on December 26.

The primary was initiated in November by lawmaker Gideon Saar, whose request marked the first formal attempt within the party to unseat Netanyahu since the attorney general announced that the premier would be indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Former education and interior minister Saar has been active in Likud for two decades and is considered an influential member.

Saar said in a statement that “there is a national need for a breakthrough that will end the ongoing political crisis, enable the formation of a strong government and unite the people of Israel.’’

The Israeli parliament was on its way to dissolving itself on Wednesday, paving the way for a third round of elections in a year.

Should Netanyahu be replaced, the new Likud leader would be the party’s candidate in the election.

Netanyahu still enjoys relative popularity with voters and his party, and few Likud ministers or lawmakers have expressed support for Saar. (dpa/NAN)

– Dec. 11, 2019 @ 13:55 GMT |

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