JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that he is moving up the date of Likud Party primaries.
With his announcement Monday, Netanyahu apparently is showing that he believes he is in a strong position in the party and would more easily be able to win re-election as party leader.
The date for the Likud poll is set for Jan. 31, which is the same day as the party’s vote for a new Central Committee. Combining the elections will save the party more than $1 million, according to reports.
Netanyahu’s main rival for the position, Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom, said he would take legal action against the initiative, Ynet reported.
The party’s internal elections must be held at least six months ahead of national Knesset elections, which are scheduled for 2013.