Israel's Likud party passes Netanyahu confidence vote

Israel’s Likud party has passed a motion in support of Benjamin Netanyahu as its sole candidate for prime minister, but only a small fraction of the party’s members turned out for the vote.

The Likud party’s Central Committee convened Thursday to vote on a resolution asserting that it would only join a government headed by Netanyahu. The party’s Facebook page said roughly 500 of the committee’s nearly 4,000 members “unanimously” voted in favor.

The resolution aimed to prevent any of Netanyahu’s Likud party rivals from forming a government without the long-serving leader as prime minister in the event Netanyahu fails.

Netanyahu and his allies did not succeed in securing an outright majority in September’s repeat parliamentary elections. The prime minister is desperate to stay in office to fend off possible indictment on corruption charges.

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