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Saturday, April 9, 2005
Political Analyst: Sharon to lean right, compensate disengagement supporters

Political Analyst: Sharon to lean right, compensate disengagement supporters

Aaron Lerner Date 9 April 2005

Political analyst Sophia Ron-Moriah wrote in the 8 April edition of Makor
Rishon that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon does not have a viable alternative
to running for prime minister at the head of a Likud list that will be
dominated by disengagement opponents in the next elections. Noting polls of
Central Committee members, she predicts that Sharon's supporters now serving
in the Knesset will not find themselves in the "safe berths" of the Likud
Knesset list in te next elections. To insure his own survival in Likud
primaries, Sharon is now expected to lean Right.

While others have suggested that Sharon may disperse the current Likud
Central Committee before they vote on the next Likud list of Knesset
candidates, Ron-Moriah notes that such a move would require the consent of
Tzachi Hanegbi, who himself relies on te good will of the Central Committee.
The current Central Committee, that opposes disengagement, formally took the
"Central Committee" status a few months ago - even though it was elected
before the last elections. Under a decision initiated by Minister Yisrael
Katz, the Central Committee decided to count the four years from this year -
this keeping it in power until 2009.

While legislation has been proposed to require all parties with over 15 MKs
to have general primaries - rather than a vote of a party central
committee - to set the party Knesset list, it cannot now get through the
Knesset. The legislation is opposed by Shinui and Shas and under Section
139 of the Likud law, any Likud MK who votes in favor of such legislation
cannot run in the Likud Party in the next elections.

Ron-Moriah downplays the possibility that Sharon will succumb to the
temptation to carry out the "big bang" that commentators and others have
raised from time to time: leaving the Likud to form a new party with leading
politicians from other parties. She points out that Sharon is well aware
that no Israeli politician - including Ben Gurion - has succeeded in
superseding the party he left with the break way party he formed.

As for those who suggest that while Sharon will run heading the list the
Likud Central Committee elects but then appoint as ministers the Likudniks
who supported disengagement but were not high enough on the party list to
make it into the Knesset, Ron-Moriah suggests that Sharon will give
ministerial positions to Knesset members whose votes he needs in the Knesset
and will instead pay off loyal Likudniks who did not make it into the
Knesset with public sector jobs.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

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