JERUSALEM, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Israeli Likud Party Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu says he hopes party members voting in primary elections Monday will tap his favored centrist candidates.
Netanyahu, while casting his own Likud Party primary vote Monday at the Jerusalem International Convention Center, said it was "a great day for democracy" in which "a core of new leadership" would get elected, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Netanyahu, who is expected to finish first and retain party leadership, campaigned hard for a centrist Knesset slate and is banking the other names that emerge from Monday's primary would attract more than Likud's core right-wing followers in a general election, the newspaper said.
For instance, Netanyahu supported the dovish former Israeli Defense Forces general staff chief Uzi Dayan and former police superintendent Assaf Hefetz for Knesset slating, the Post said.
Kadima and Labor party opponents, however, predicted to reporters that Likud voters would select extreme right-wingers, damaging Netanyahu's efforts to reach out to undecided centrist voters.