Likud Knesset member Gideon Sa’ar said on Monday that if he is elected to the leadership of the party during Thursday’s primaries, he will seek to have Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed to the presidency. The term of the current president, Reuven Rivlin, ends in July 2021.

Referring to the upcoming primaries, Sa’ar told supporters at a party gathering, “If you give me the power on Thursday … and I am chosen as Likud chairman, I will seek for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be elected Israel’s next president in the elections set for a year and a half from now.”

Netanyahu was “undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest statesmen,” said Sa’ar, but in light of his failure to form a government twice in a row, “conclusions must be drawn.”

As president, said Sa’ar, Netanyahu would “be able to continue contributing his international [diplomacy] skills to Israel’s status in the world.”

Also on Monday, a Likud Party court ruled against holding list primaries, though the leadership primaries in which Netanyahu and Sa’ar will face off are still set to take place on Thursday morning.

tentative date of March 2, 2020, has been set for Israel’s third national election within a one-year span.

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