The Ichud Leumi party’s leadership body is scheduled to convene in the coming days and its major decision is who will lead the party. Will Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel continue leading the party, or will it go to MK Betzalel Smotrich, who holds the number two slot and who has grown considerably in popularity.
Officials explain there are a number of options available, a rotation between the two, possibly internal elections or one of the two can be appointed. If a rotation is decided upon, then they would split the coming four years, with each heading the party for two years. If the leaders cannot agree on a solution, it may go to the party members for a vote. If this were to occur, the two would be campaigning against one another for the top slot.
The leadership is expected to convene on Wednesday, 18 Teves, and at present, it is unclear if they will reach a decision or if the 120-members of the party will vote.
At present, Ichud Leumi ran on a combined ticket with Bayit Yehudi in the last Knesset elections, with the number two slot guaranteed for Uri Ariel. This is why he is serving as Minister of Agriculture. At present, it appears the two will not run on a combined ticket in the next Knesset elections as Bayit Yehudi leaders do not wish to guarantee slots for Ichud Leumi members as they are demanding and as was done in the past.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)