Likud Party primary yields more right-wing Knesset list

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

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The primary election results were announced late Monday night after two days of voting marred by malfunctions at computerized voting booths in polling stations throughout the country. The primaries extended into a second day Monday to allow all voters an opportunity to cast their ballots. Some 59 percent of party members turned out to vote over the two days. 

Current Education Minister Gideon Saar garnered the most votes, but current government ministers Dan Meridor and Benny Begin, who are party moderates, failed to get elected to the first 20 spots on the party list, considered to be places that will be seated in the next government. Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter and Minister Without Portfolio Michael Eitan also missed getting realistic spots on the list.

Since the Likud is running on the same list as Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu Party, every two Likud Party names will be followed by a Yisrael Beiteinu name on the list.
Moshe Feiglin, who heads the right-wing Manhigut Yehudit – or Jewish Leadership –  faction of the Likud party, placed 15th in the primaries. Feiglin has previously run for the party leadership against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and also has failed to garner a realistic spot on party lists in previous primaries.

The top ten include Netanyahu, Saar, Gilad Erdan, Silvan Shalom, Yisrael Katz, Danny Danon, Reuven Rivlin, Moshe Yaalon, Zeev Elkin, and Tzipi Hotovely. Four women were among the top 20 vote getters. 

“I respect all the people who found themselves off the list, but it’s a generational thing. There is new blood in Likud’s leadership,” Danon told  Ynet after the final tally,

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