Netanyahu holds on to Likud helm


Benjamin Netanyahu easily won re-election as the head of Israel’s Likud Party.

The final tally from Tuesday’s party ballot showed Netanyahu, the incumbent chairman and leader of Israel’s parliamentary opposition, with 73.2 percent of the votes. Pro-settler activist Moshe Feiglin won 23.4 percent  and junior Likud politician Danny Danon had 3.4 percent.

Pundits noted that Netanyahu had been expected to enjoy even more of a landslide victory and blamed low voter turnout. Thirty-nine percent of Likud voters participated in the ballot.

Netanyahu, an ex-prime minister, said the ballot should be the Likud’s last hurdle before campaigning to replace the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the next general elections.

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