December 7, 2023

After the 64 signatures to replace the current chairman were submitted, among the leading candidates for the position are Ofir Akunis – supported by Sara Netanyahu, and opposite Dudi Amsalem, supported by the son of the prime minister-designate. Another candidate is Danny Danon, who holds a bargaining chip against Netanyahu in the form of the chairman of KKL-Junk.

The battle for the position of the next speaker of the Knesset entered the final stage today (Tuesday), and at least four members of the Knesset from the Likud are competing for it. After the party submitted the 64 signatures of the members of the future coalition demanding to replace the current speaker of the Knesset Miki Levy , the appointment is expected to take place Next Monday, and in the remaining week Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu will have to decide who will be the member of Knesset from his party who will receive the prestigious and significant position in the 25th Knesset, which includes a dramatic impact on the legislature with a luxurious chamber, armored vehicles, tight security and a long list of standards and political appointments.

In Likud there are five names that have been mentioned in recent weeks as possible candidates for the position – Ofir Akunis, Yoav Kish, Dodi Amsalem, Amir Ohana and Danny Danon. The last two are considered less likely than the others. Ohana is currently slated for the position of Foreign Minister in the next government, although the final decision has not yet been made, but for the time being he prefers that. Danon announced that he is interested in the position, but the fact that he was elected in a relatively low place in the primaries, placed 15th on the party’s list and only recently returned to the Knesset from a long term as ambassador to the United Nations does not improve his position in the race. However, Danon holds the position of chairman of the CEC Netanyahu wants to appoint one of Likud’s top officials to him, and can use him as a bargaining chip to put pressure on him.

Another candidate is Yoav Kish. The latter was one of the most prominent activists in the battle led by the outgoing opposition against the Bennet-Lapid government and closely followed the battles in the Knesset. The person who tried to promote his appointment is the chairman of the Likud faction, Yariv Levin, Netanyahu’s right-hand man, but the prime minister-designate stated that he would prefer him to the position of minister. He is joined by Knesset members Ofir Akunis and Dodi Amsalem. Akunis is considered a candidate with high chances, and his candidacy is also supported by By Sara Netanyahu and senior officials in Netanyahu’s office According to Likud sources, the prime minister-designate’s wife is involved in an attempt to promote Akunis to the position.

Amsalem, on the other hand, has the support of Yair Netanyahu, and it is possible that the Likud chairman will appoint him to the position in order to neutralize the group of Knesset members threatening him from within the party, including David Bitan and Israel Katz. However, the public confrontations that Amsalem had with Netanyahu over the past year regarding the changes in the judicial system and Amsalem’s attacks against Supreme Court judges may thwart his candidacy.

The final decision is expected to be made only at the last moment, and this is also subject to the division of roles within the Likud. Meanwhile, the schedule for the swearing in of the government is getting shorter. The 28 days of Netanyahu’s mandate are supposed to end at the end of this coming week, and he may request an extension of another 14 days from the president. The Netanyahu bloc estimates that the swearing-in will be held at the last minute, during the days of Hanukkah.

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