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Netanyahu challenger Edelstein punished by Likud primary voters, exit polls show

22 7 2

Likud party voters punished a former challenger to faction leader Benjamin Netanyahu and rewarded two loyalists during Likud’s primary contest on Wednesday, according to initial exit polls.

Close to 80,000 registered party members voted in the primaries throughout the day for their preferred Likud candidates. The results will determine the roster Israel’s largest political party intends to send to the Knesset in the general election on November 1.

Exit polls after the primary vote closed predicted that Yuli Edelstein, a longtime Likud stalwart and its former No. 2, will place 23rd on the party’s electoral slate after challenging Netanyahu’s rule last year. The low placement means Edelstein will probably not make it into the Knesset after this year’s general elections.

Netanyahu, as party leader, holds the top spot on the party’s ticket. Amir Ohana and Yariv Levin, both staunch Netanyahu supporters, garnered the most votes in the hotly-contested primary election, according to an exit poll from Direct Polls.

Ohana was justice minister for a year before the current government was formed in June 2021 and Levin is thought to be a future candidate for the post. Both are closely allied with Netanyahu, and have been seen at the forefront of efforts to extract the opposition leader from his legal morass. Netanyahu is battling corruption charges in three cases.

Rounding out the top six in the Likud primaries were Yoav Kish,........

© The Times of Israel

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