Netanyahu wins Likud chairmanship for fifth time


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won the Likud Party chairmanship race with 77 percent of the vote.

Netanyahu in Tuesday’s polling brought in about the same percentage of voters as the last race in 2007, again beating back a challenge by hard-liner Moshe Feiglin of the Jewish Leadership faction of the party to take the chairmanship for the fifth time in 18 years.

"Today the real Likud won," Netanyahu told supporters following his victory. "We proved that our strength is in our unity. We will continue to lead responsibly for better education, economy and security for all the citizens of the State of Israel."

Turnout was low among the 130,000 party members who were eligible to go to the polls to elect a chairman and a new Central Committee more than a year before scheduled national elections.

Several polling stations in the West Bank, where Feiglin is a resident and was expected to poll well, sent voters home after not receiving the necessary materials, according to complaints from the Feiglin camp. Polling places in some communities were allowed to stay open up to two hours after the scheduled 10 p.m. closing due to the problems and low voter turnout. 


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