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Netanyahu Retains Likud Leadership After Primary Elections

Primary elections took place in Israel on Thur. 26 Dec. 2019 for the Likud party chairman. Netanyahu was again voted into Likud’s leadership position by a landslide majority following a failed attempt to dethrone him by a former cabinet minister. With all the ballots from the latest primary election tallied, Netanyahu received support from 72.5% of the party members, compared to 27.5% for challenger Gideon Sa’ar. Netanyahu was unable to form a governing coalition following an unprecedented two elections in 2019 – with a third election scheduled for March 2020. The prime minister is also facing corruption charges, bringing into question his qualifications to continue leading the party. Nevertheless, many of his critics were doubtful as to whether Sa’ar, who has never held more than a mid-level cabinet post, is qualified to lead a country facing security threats on several fronts. The September 2019 vote left the Likud in a virtual tie with the centrist Blue and White party led by former army chief of staff Benny Gantz. Neither were able to form a national unity government partly because Blue and White refused to accept an indicted prime minister. Polls indicate the March 2020 will produce a similar outcome, rounding out more than a year of uncertainty in which Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, has led a caretaker government.  Israel’s Supreme Court plans to meet this week to consider whether an indicted member of parliament can be prime minister. (VFI News)

Please continue to intercede in this vitally important issue that Israel will be able to form a strong and stable government in the early months of 2020.