Yuli Edelstein speaks out

The Knesset speaker hopes for another term in his current position, but in the meantime, the big winner of the Likud primary is busy campaigning for his party.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein came in first place in the Likud primary, making him No. 2 on the party’s list for the next Knesset, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the victory didn’t really surprise anyone. He came in second place back in 2015.

Coming in first in the Likud primary puts him in a prime position to take Netanyahu’s place as party leader one day, though the competition will likely be stiff, with interim Foreign Minister Israel Katz, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, former minister Gideon Sa’ar and surely others eyeing the role. And then there are the persistent rumors that Edelstein hopes to run for president after Reuven Rivlin’s term ends.

The Knesset speaker would not give a direct answer about his own ambitions, saying only that he wants to continue for another term in his current job.

“It’s a long process,” Edelstein said of whether Netanyahu’s legal woes could mean he’ll leave office soon. “I don’t know if it’s a useful thing to discuss what happens next. We have a prime minister who’s the leader of the Likud, and we’re running in the elections with him.”

For now, Edelstein is focused on making sure the Likud wins on April 9. Continue reading

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