The Jerusalem Post

Likudniks aim to stop defectors from coming back

MK tweets: ‘I was born in Likud and will die in Likud’


Former Likud Knesset members who have left the Likud will not be allowed to run again with the party, according to a new proposal drafted by MK Miki Zohar.

The proposal, which will be brought to the Likud’s institutio­ns, is intended to block the return of Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar (New Hope), Constructi­on Minister Ze’ev Elkin (New Hope) and New Hope faction chairwoman Sharren Haskel.

It would not apply to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (Yamina), Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) or Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, who were members of Likud but never MKs with the party before they formed their own lists following personal disputes with Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

“They used the Likud and threw us away,” Likud MK David Amsalem said in a conversati­on with Zohar about the bill that was revealed by KAN.

Zohar wants to change the Likud constituti­on to prevent a Sa’ar comeback in the post-Netanyahu era, as well as to deter others from following in Sa’ar’s footsteps.

Likud MK Avi Dichter denied a report that he was in talks with Elkin about joining New Hope and the coalition along with MKs Keren Barak and Fateen Mulla.

“Someone apparently had a wet dream that I will leave the Likud Party,” Dichter said. “It will not happen.”

Mulla tweeted uncompromi­singly that he “was born in Likud and will die in Likud.”

The coalition passed a bill in its first reading in the Knesset early Tuesday morning that would allow four MKs to break off from Likud. The current law would require a third of the MKs in a faction to split.

The Likud has 29 MKs, following this week’s defection of MK Ofir Sofer to the Religious Zionist Party. The shift was approved by the Knesset Arrangemen­t’s Committee, with the support of Likud, which allowed Sofer to run on the party’s list in a deal with Religious Zionist Party head Bezalel Smotrich.

 ?? MIKI ZOHAR ?? (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
MIKI ZOHAR (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

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