Israel’s right-wing Likud party, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reached a final tally of votes Wednesday evening after holding a tense primary race to decide the slate of lawmakers who will represent the faction in upcoming national elections.
With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu retaining the party’s leadership, candidates were competing for a place in Likud’s 2nd to 18th spots on the list, which would secure their place on the national ballot come April 9th.
Parliament speaker Yuli Edelstein beat out Transportation Minister Israel Katz for the second spot in a close race that remained uncertain as results trickled in Wednesday morning. Former interior minister and Netanyahu rival Gideon Sa’ar placed fifth on the list after a four-year hiatus from politics and despite Netanyahu having reportedly actively worked to thwart his advancement.
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