Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom declared, on Tuesday, that he would compete for the Likud chairmanship and for Prime Minister, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.
Shalom said at a press conference announcing his candidacy for the Likud, that he decided to contend for the Likud Chairmanship “and win” adding that “it is the time for a new leadership, for loyalty to political values to the nation and the country”, according to Shalom.
Shalom is the fifth Likud minister who announces candidacy for Likud leadership. Before him, the Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Agriculture Minister Yisrael Katz, MK Benjamin Netanyahu, MK Uzi Landau and MK Moshe Feiglin announced their candidacy in the race for Likud chairmanship.
Also, Shalom added that he believes that the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, made a mistake by choosing to leave the Likud party and form a new one.
“I believe that the Likud must lead the country, and this is what will happen”, Shalom said, “the Likud was never based on a single person, it is based on ideologies and national principles; what Israel needs is a strong Likud with a worthy leader”.
Candidates for chairmanship agreed on Tuesday that the primaries would be conducted on December 19, 2005, and that if needed, another round would be held three days later. The primaries for the Likud faction would be conducted on January 3, 2006.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister, Ehud Omert, said that Sharon “wants to draw Israel’s borders in negotiations with the Palestinians”, adding that her met with very senior officials at the Palestinian Authority “in hopes of creating a momentum”.
Yet, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is considered the favorite among the six candidates who want to succeed Sharon, described Sharon and a dictator who is leading Israel into tyranny and endangering the Israeli security.