Netanyahu Trying to Block Proposed Limit on His Tenure as Likud Chief

Proposal calls for a 60 percent majority to reelect a party chairman who has served three or more terms.

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Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech at the Israeli National Police College in Beit Shemesh, April 13, 2015.
Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech at the Israeli National Police College in Beit Shemesh, April 13, 2015.Credit: AFP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to convene Likud’s constitution committee to try and block a proposal that could prevent him from heading the party in the next Knesset election.

Likud sources said Sunday that Netanyahu wants to ensure he can run for prime minister again. According to the proposal, a majority of 60 percent of Likud Party members would be required to reelect a party chairman who has served in that capacity for three or more terms.

The proposal was presented to the Likud Central Committee a few months ago by Netanyahu’s rivals, in an attempt to stop his election to the chairmanship. However, when the general election was moved up, discussion of the proposal was postponed. Now Netanyahu wants to bury it completely.

“Netanyahu is working to prevent the proposal from being approved to prevent humiliation in Likud, because it’s clear to everyone that this is a vote of confidence in him – and, of course, so as not to close off any possibilities for another term,” a Likud source said.

The source added that the timing of Monday’s committee meeting was not coincidental. “Netanyahu is taking advantage of the fact that the government has not yet been formed and quite a few MKs and ministers are waiting for positions, so will not do anything to anger him. If the committee were to convene [later], quite a few bitter people would take revenge.”

The proposal is unlikely to pass today. According to Likud sources, this is not only because of the power Netanyahu holds after his sweeping electoral win, but also because the committee might pass the decision on to the Likud Central Committee.

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