Turnout for the Likud party's primary elections was unusually low on
Tuesday. By mid-afternoon, only 14 percent of eligible voters had cast
their ballot to elect a new party leader and central committee.
Approximately 4,500 people had voted by early afternoon while125,000
Likud members are eligible to vote, in more than 150 countrywide
polling stations. The party's current leader, Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu, was expected to win easily against his only challenger,
extreme rightist Moshe Feiglin. National elections are not due until
late 2013, and Netanyahu's decision to hold the Likud primaries now
has raised speculation that he intends to call a national vote closer
to the time of the U.S. presidential election later this year.