Likud primary yields a more right-wing Knesset list

Members of the Likud Party voted out moderate party stalwarts and elected more right-wing candidates to fill spots on its Knesset list.

Education Minister Gideon Saar garnered the most votes in primary election results announced Nov. 26 after two days of voting marred by malfunctions at computerized voting booths in polling stations throughout the country.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s name did not appear on the ballot. As the party head, he automatically tops the slate for the Jan. 22 general election.

Government ministers Dan Meridor and Benny Begin, both party moderates, did not make the list’s top 20, which are considered places that realistically will be seated in the next government. Avi Dichter, the home front defense minister, and Michael Eitan, minister without portfolio, also failed to make the top 20.

Because Likud is running on the same list as Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, every two Likud names on the list will be followed by a Yisrael Beiteinu name.

Along with Netanyahu and Saar, others in the slate’s top 10 are Gilad Erdan, Silvan Shalom, Yisrael Katz, Danny Danon, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, Moshe Ya’alon, Zeev Elkin and Tzipi Hotovely. Four women were among the top 20 vote-getters. — jta