Netanyahu challenger says Israel PM to hold vote

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party will hold a leadership vote. That’s according to a Likud challenger on Sunday (November 25). Local media reported that the party’s primary elections would be held in six weeks. But a party spokesman couldn’t be reached to confirm the timeline. The challenger – lawmaker Gideon Saar – took to Twitter to say that he ‘welcomes the prime minister’s agreement to hold primaries for party leadership’. Netanyahu faces mounting pressure to step down after his indictment last Thursday (November 22) on charges of corruption. Israel’s Supreme Court dismissed a petition by a watchdog group, either to force Netanyahu to resign, or temporarily recuse himself from office. Netanyahu’s indictment came after neither he nor his main challenger were able to secure a majority in parliament, during elections in April and September. The prime minister has denied the charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. He also said he would stay in office and defend himself. On Thursday, Israel’s president gave lawmakers three weeks to nominate one of their own, in order to form a ruling coalition. If that fails however, Israel might end up holding its third election in a year.

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