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Sharon leads in Likud leadership race

JERUSALEM: Outgoing Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon won the backing of fellow Ministers to succeed defeated Prime Minister Benjamin...

JERUSALEM: Outgoing Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon won the backing of fellow Ministers to succeed defeated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as caretaker leader of the right-wing Likud party on Tuesday.

The final choice of a replacement for Netanyahu, who resigned after his crushing election defeat on Monday, will be taken at a meeting of the party’s central committee on Thursday, outgoing Science and Technology Minister Silwan Shalom told public radio.

“Sharon’s nomination will remain in force until leadership elections are held among party members in three to nine months’ time,” Shalom said. A number of Likud figures are thought to be interested in leading the party, including Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert, outgoing Finance Minister Meir Sheetrit and former communications minister Limor Livnat, and Shalom himself. The Likud, for long one of Israel’s two main parties, saw its representation in Parliament cut from 32 seats to 19 in Monday’s polls.

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First published on: 20-05-1999 at 12:00:00 am
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