Betar Chair Trounces MK Steinitz in World Likud Poll

World Betar Chairman Danny Danon defeated MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) by a landslide in yesterday's election for a new chairman of World Likud, in what was widely considered an upset victory.

Steinitz, who had the backing of party chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, was considered the favorite in the elections. But Danon, who serves as World Betar Chairman, had the support of hawkish Likud activists from abroad, many of whom opposed the disengagement.It is not yet clear if the results will be valid, since Judge Uri Struzman, who was overseeing the elections, resigned before the results were made public.

According to the results announced yesterday, Danon received 68 votes, while Steinitz received just 11. An additional 30 World Likud members were present for the meeting, but did not vote.

Danon - who called his win a "revolution" - said that he would use his new position to oppose Prime Minister's Ehud Olmert's realignment plan.

"I knew that I could count on support from abroad, because of my activity against the disengagement," a triumphant Danon told Haaretz. "Steinitz thought that because he was a member of Knesset, he would win. But the results were a revolution."