The Financial Express

Netanyahu’s Likud challenger surging ahead

Published: December 16, 2019 18:42:57 | Updated: December 18, 2019 12:09:33

Netanyahu’s Likud challenger surging ahead

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s challenger for the post of ruling Likud party leader is picking up more endorsements ahead of the official launch of his primary campaign on Monday, reports AP.

Gideon Saar’s associates expect about 1,000 party activists to attend the launch and have been buoyed by support of a half-dozen Likud lawmakers, including the powerful chairman of the party’s executive body.

Saar’s leadership bid marks the first serious internal challenge to Netanyahu in his decade-plus in power. Though still a decided underdog to the embattled prime minister, Saar seems to be gaining traction ahead of the Dec. 26 vote among the party faithful where there is growing skepticism that Netanyahu can still deliver.

Netanyahu faces charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three corruption cases in which he is accused of trading legislative or regulatory favors in exchange for lavish gifts or favorable media coverage.

He denies wrongdoing and has waged an angry campaign against the media and law enforcement officials he said are bent on ousting him from office.

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