Activists within the ruling Likud in Israel have filed a petition calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Election Commission to organise primary elections for the party, Arab48.com reported on Tuesday. Ori Peretz wrote in the petition that, according to the Likud constitution, once the Knesset was dissolved and a new General Election was decided upon, there must be primary elections for choosing the party's president and parliamentary candidates.
The move comes amidst a campaign against Netanyahu within his party. Some Likud members accuse him of undermining it, while others insist that his time at the top is at an end.
Peretz accused Netanyahu of ignoring the constitution and the desire of Likud members to replace him, noting that he has failed to form a government following April's inconclusive General Election. He also noted that the leaders of the Blue and White Party have indicated that they would form a coalition government with any other Likud leader apart from Netanyahu.
Furthermore, the current Prime Minister is accused of weakening the party through his policies. There are also possible court hearings on criminal charges in the offing against Netanyahu.
Meanwhile, the Head of Jewish Home party, Avigdor Lieberman, told Yedioth Ahronoth that he is not obliged to take part in a government led by Netanyahu, who he accused of "personalising" politics. One close ally, he said, claimed that "the Likud without Netanyahu is a pile of rubbish." Lieberman insisted that he is not obliged to accept Netanyahu, but must work towards having a right-wing government.