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Benjamin Netanyahu easily wins party primary ahead of Israel election

The scandal-tainted premier had faced a challenge to lead the Likud Party into the third election in less than a year.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Gali Tibbon/AP)
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Gali Tibbon/AP)

By Joseph Krauss, Associated Press

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won a landslide victory in a primary election for leadership of the ruling Likud party.

Official results announced early showed Netanyahu capturing 72% of the votes, compared with 28% for challenger Gideon Saar.

The sweeping victory gives the embattled leader an important boost as the country heads to its third election in less than a year.

Netanyahu had earlier declared a “giant victory”.

The victory could give Netanyahu another opportunity to form a government after March elections. It also keeps alive his hopes of winning immunity from prosecution on a series of corruption charges.

PA

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