Gideon Saar

 

Yesterday, the Likud primary elections were held to see who will represent the party in the next general elections on April 9th.

With 75 percent of the votes counted in the party’s primary elections, Knesset President Yuli Edelstein and Transport Minister Yisrael Katz are vying for first place.

During the voting, former Minister of the Interior and Education Gideon Saar made it to the top of the primary list, despite the Prime Minister’s opposition. Gilad Erdan and Miri Regev are in the top five.

Completing the top ten are former Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, Avi Dichter, Yariv Levin, Yoav Galant (who recently left the Kulanu party to join Likud) and Gila Gamliel.

Among those likely to lose their seats in Parliament (Knesset) are deputies Nava Boker, Oren Hazan, Nurit Koren and Communications Minister Ayoob Kara.

Likud President Benjamin Netanyahu tried to keep his rival Saar away from the top ten. The two clashed in a public political dispute in the days leading up to the party’s primaries, but Saar appears to have won the contest and has positioned himself into a pivotal spot.

The Tel Aviv district is witnessing a close battle between former Netanyahu office chief David Sharan, who is suspected of corruption in the submarine affair (Case 3000), and Michal Shir, a close ally of Saar.

Some 69,874 of Likud’s 120,000 registered voters cast their votes in the party’s primaries. The ballot boxes were closed last night at 10 p.m. with voter turnout fifty-eight percent, or three percent higher than the previous ones.