March 25, 2023
a sixth election

Senior Likud members are considering removing party leader Benjamin Netanyahu if he fails to win a majority in the next election, saying it is the only way to avoid a sixth election in less than four years.

‘This is the best solution. No one wants a sixth election, but Netanyahu refuses to step aside’

Officials previously said that Netanyahu would be offered almost complete control of the party but would not be part of the government, allowing the Likud to form a center-right coalition government with parties that currently refuse to sit with the former prime minister.

Most recent polls predict a political deadlock in the November vote, leading Likud officials to prepare for Netanyahu’s bloc to fail to reach the 61-seat majority needed to form a government.

According to the plan – drawn up behind Netanyahu’s back – the Likud would choose a party member to serve as prime minister, rotating with Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

“This is the best solution. No one wants a sixth election, but Netanyahu refuses to step aside,” said a senior Likud member, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It is unclear whether Netanyahu would agree to such a move, as he has rejected similar plans in the past. He also recently promised to continue leading the right-wing bloc if he failed to form a government.

Some Likud members already objected to the move and called for a primary for the party’s leadership in the event that it fails to reach 61 seats.

“If Netanyahu does not reach a majority, we will demand a new primary. This is not a monarchy in which he passes the baton to his heir,” said another Likud member also on condition of anonymity.

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