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    Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Reelected Head of Likud

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    Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reelected as the head of the right-wing Likud party ahead of the country's early parliamentary elections, which are scheduled to be held in March.

    MOSCOW, January 1 (Sputnik) – Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reelected as the head of the Likud party, AFP reports.

    Netanyahu’s only opponent was Danny Danon, a former deputy defense minister.

    "With nearly 60 percent of the ballots counted, Benjamin Netanyahu took 80 percent of the vote and Danny Danon 20 percent," Likud spokeswoman Noga Katz told AFP.

    Although final results will be released later on January 1, Danon has already congratulated the prime minister on his victory.

    "Based on the results we see now, Prime Minister Netanyahu has won the election. I congratulate the prime minister," Danon said in a videotaped statement, as quoted by Reuters. "We shall work together as a united party for victory in the coming elections," he added.

    Approximately 55 percent of Likud’s 96,651 members took part in the vote. They were also choosing candidates for the party list.

    "It is important at the end of the day that there be one strong Likud against the left in order to lead the state of Israel safely," Netanyahu said at a polling station, as quoted by AFP.

    Netanyahu, who has served as Israel’s prime minister since 2009, will lead Likud into snap parliamentary elections, which are scheduled to be held in March. According to the latest survey conducted by Channel 10, an alliance of the Labor party and the centrist Hatnuah party, led by former justice minister Tzipi Livni, maintains a narrow lead over Likud.


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