Turnout for the Likud party’s primary elections was unusually low on Tuesday. By mid-afternoon, only 14 percent of eligible voters had cast their ballot to elect a new party leader and central committee.
Approximately 4,500 people had voted by early afternoon. Many of the polling stations themselves had opened later than 10 A.M., as planned, due to the tardiness of the human resources personnel overseeing the voting.
The party’s current leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was expected to win easily against his only challenger, extreme rightist Moshe Feiglin. If he indeed secures the chairmanship, this will be Netanyahu’s fifth time be elected to the post since 1993. In the previous Likud leadership primary in August 2007, Netanyahu beat Feiglin by 73.2 per cent to 23.4 per cent.
After casting his own vote, Netanyahu issued a call out Likud members to “come and vote for me, I know most of you support me.”
“If people stay home, there will be no way to express this great support, and the way that I lead the Likud, which has garnered such support among the members of Knesset and the ministers. The more voters that turn out, the clearer it will be how great the support is for me,” he said.
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