Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering holding snap primaries for the post of Likud chairman, according to an announcement issued by the Likud party on Thursday.
According to the Likud statement, “the purpose of this move is to shatter the illusion of there being a brewing revolt within Likud, which competing parties are yearning for, and which hinders them from joining a unity government.”
The idea of a broad unity government that would include “anyone but Bibi” Knesset factions was first promoted by Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Liberman.
The Likud announcement was made following a meeting between Netanyahu and Liberman Thursday morning which ended without real progress in forming a unity government.
After the Likud announcement, senior Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar tweeted: “I’m ready.”
The snap primaries that Netanyahu is considering is intended to thwart a possible Likud revolt by MKs who would try to win a chance to represent their party when—after both Netanyahu and Gantz have failed—the Knesset enters a 21-day phase of seeking a candidate to form a new government, a last-ditch effort to avoid going to third elections.