There are growing signs of tension between supporters of Israel’s Likud leader Ariel Sharon and those of ex-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of a party central committee meeting next week to discuss doing away with the system of direct elections, reported Haaretz newspaper, quoting Israel radio.
While Sharon is keen to annul the present system, whereby voters place one ballot in the voting box for a party and a second for prime minister, Netanyahu believes it provides him with his best chance of regaining the country's top office, said the report.
Netanyahu, who has yet to announce whether he is returning to the political arena, has a massive lead in the polls over Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
Netanyahu supporters fear that if the country reverts to the old one-ballot system, whereby voters only chose a party, then early elections will be less likely as medium and small parties like Shas and Shinui, who stand to lose voters under the old system, might decide to withdraw their support when it comes to the second and third readings of the bill to disband the Knesset, said the paper – Albawaba.com
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