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Netanyahu abandons snap Likud primaries

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives to deliver a statement to the media in his residency in Jerusalem 28 February, 2019 [REUTERS/ Ronen Zvulun]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives to deliver a statement to the media in his residency in Jerusalem 28 February, 2019 [REUTERS/ Ronen Zvulun]

The Israeli prime minister and Likud chairman, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced on Friday the abdication of snap primaries in the Likud party.

According to the Times of Israel, the Likud Central Committee will meet next week to confirm its unequivocal support for Netanyahu as leader.

On Thursday, Netanyahu accepted a suggestion put forth by member of Knesset, Haim Katz, that the Likud Central Committee will convene and publicly support Netanyahu for prime minister in the coalition negotiations.

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The suggestion included a declaration that Likud would only join a government headed by Netanyahu, for the full term or as part of a rotation.

Israeli media claimed that Netanyahu backtracked from the idea of snap primaries after the popular former Likud minister, Gideon Saar, tweeted: "I am ready."

The Guardian stated that this tweet sparked a flurry of speculation that Saar, who has been tipped as Netanyahu's successor, would fight to dethrone his nemesis.

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On Thursday, Netanyahu accused the Blue and White party of undermining the formation of a coalition government, due to the refusal of its head, Benny Gantz, to accept Netanyahu's premiership.

"There is no other way than forming a wide unity government," Netanyahu told the media. "Gantz is trying to evade this and change the democratic procedures."

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