03:33 GMT +3 hours31 July 2016
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel Primary Canceled, Netanyahu to Lead Likud Through 2023

© REUTERS/ Carlos Barria
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An internal court of Israel’s ruling Likud Party has canceled a planned primary election for party leadership. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was announced the winner by default and will remain at the post through 2023.

The court, explaining its findings, stated that it would be unreasonable to spend $1 million of its party money to hold a vote, especially taking into account that Netanyahu would have been the only candidate.

"In these conditions, the election is no longer necessary and Likud leadership has declared the winner as Benjamin Netanyahu," a Likud spokesman told AFP.

Senior party members are thought to be skeptical of the decision, as it was Netanyahu himself who called for a primary election on February 23, less than a year after the last general election held in March.

Early elections stirred up controversy in Israel. It is widely believed that by pushing for a vote far earlier than expected, Netanyahu hoped to secure his position, as such a move would not let any potential rivals, like Gideon Sa'ar, to enter the race in time.

Victory in an early primary would help the politically embattled Israeli prime minister to protect his legitimacy as a party leader from challenges later in his current term.

Israeli analysts believe Netanyahu will appoint another Likud minister to the government. Coalition partners oppose the appointment, fearing it will give Likud too big a majority.

Netanyahu has been Israel's prime minister for almost a decade.

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election, Likud party, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel
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  • Nice fraud! Well done bibi.. you'll regret it even the israeli are fed up..
  • cast235
    Dictatorship anyways. Murdering thousands without trial. Under U.S, auspices. Both are the same.ADD EU, NATO..UK too.
  • ptcjm
    Someone loves my neck apparently, but sorry my soul is not available for this satanic beast of terror.
  • Tom Pescatore
    B.B. hmm, reminds me George Orwell's 1984...
  • Mitach2002
    I bet he never sees 2023.
  • in reply toMitach2002(Show commentHide comment)
    Mitach2002, well, he is still fairly young but you may be right. However, they are known for using life support machines indefinitely :)
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