(January 8, 2019 / JNS) Despite recent attempts by former Education and Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar to lower the profile of his power struggle with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following the decision to hold an early general election on April 9, the battle between the two is playing out behind the scenes, Israel Hayom has learned.
On Tuesday, the Likud constitutional committee convened to decide on which places on the Likud Knesset list would be reserved and for whom. Until now, the Likud has kept a bloc of 10 spots on its list (from No. 16 and up) for representatives of various cohorts within the party.
Each party running for the Knesset compiles a list of 120 potential Knesset members. The number of representatives of each party who actually wind up serving in the Knesset is based on the percentage of the vote the party gets in a Knesset election. The minimum electoral threshold required to enter the Knesset is 3.25% of the vote, meaning that the fewest MKs a given party can have in the Knesset is four. The rules for determining Knesset lists vary from party to party, but most of the major parties allow leaders to reserve spots for specific representatives or representatives of specific sectors (women, minorities, immigrants.)
According to a copy of the agreement worked out by the constitutional committee obtained by Israel Hayom, Netanyahu wants to spread out the reserved spots along the list rather than keeping them in one bloc near the top, meaning that some of the Likud candidates who are elected to reserved places on the list will have a slim chance of actually serving in the Knesset.
Likud officials are claiming that by advocating this change, Netanyahu is trying to push party members aligned with Sa’ar to the bottom of the list.
In addition, it appears that the Likud will change its method for ensuring that women are represented in the party. Officials are requesting that four places in the top 31 be reserved for women and that the 25th and 31st slots be reserved for female newcomers to the party.
For the first time, the Likud is also reserving a spot for an ultra-Orthodox representative – currently the 43rd spot on the list, although that could change.
The Likud spot earmarked for a non-Jewish representative, which Communications Minister Ayoob Kara is competing for, is No. 28 on the list. The No. 30 place on the list, earmarked for an immigrant, has been reserved for MK Avraham Neguise.