Likud Veterans Prevail in Primaries

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CBNNews.com - TEL AVIV, Israel - Political veterans and security-minded members of the opposition Likud party prevailed in the party's primary Monday, which was delayed by problems posed by computerized voting machines.

After winning the number two spot behind Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, MK (member of Knesset) Gideon Sa'ar rejected disparaging remarks by left-wing parties and outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that Likud was too right-wing.

"The roster is made up of all sorts of people and political shades, and I think it's well balanced," Sa'ar said. "These are quality people with a proven record," he said.

A spokesman for the Kadima party called Likud "a prisoner of the extreme Right."

"From now on it can no longer be obscured," he said. "It was once again been proven that the Likud is the prisoner of the extreme Right, which, together with [Likud chairman Binyamin] Netanyahu will try to come to power and implement their extremist polices," he said.

"Bibi is raping democracy," the spokesman said.

Likud issued a rebuttal citing claims by Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, who lost the Kadima party primaries to Foreign Minister Tzipi Livini by 1 percent, that Livni had defrauded people.

"Kadima is the last [party] to have the right to criticize the primaries," the Likud statement read.

Others Likud members finishing in the top 10 spots include Reuven Rivlin, Benny Begin, Moshe Ya'alon, Yuval Steinitz, and Silvan Shalom.

The 11 through 20 slots include Yuli Edelstein, Limor Livnat, Yossi Peled, Michael Eitan, Dan Meridor and Moshe Feiglin, who came in twentieth.

A two-hour plus wait to vote caused many Likud members to give up and go home.

Netanyahu, who himself had trouble with the voting machines and had to ask for help, apologized for the problems.

"There is no doubt that there is much room for improvement with computerized voting. This much is clear," Netanyahu said.

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