JERUSALEM (JTA) — The central committee of the Likud Party has approved early leadership primaries requested by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The primaries will be moved up from six months before the next scheduled national election to Feb. 23.
Critics claim the action will consolidate Netanyahu’s support as head of the party. The leadership vote determines the party leader and list of candidates.
Netanyahu says the move will allow the party to be “ready for every scenario,” including early national elections. Early elections are likely, since the Likud-led government coalition has a majority of one seat.