Israel’s Likud Rules out Netanyahu Stepping Aside

Lawmakers from Israel’s ruling Likud party say they will only accept Benjamin Netanyahu as the party’s candidate for prime minister, “regardless of the election results.”

Netanyahu’s party issued a statement Sunday saying that all of its Knesset members signed a “unity petition” affirming that Netanyahu “is the only Likud candidate for prime minister – and there will be no other candidate.”

The move appeared aimed at quashing any demand by potential coalition partners that Netanyahu step down.

Netanyahu passed David Ben-Gurion last month as Israel’s longest serving prime minister and seeks re-election for a fourth consecutive term. Israel is holding an unprecedented repeat election on September 17 after Netanyahu failed to form a government following April’s vote.

He also faces a pre-indictment hearing in a series of corruption cases.


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