JERUSALEM, Israel - The Likud party says all 40 of its top candidates have signed a commitment Sunday naming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the party's only candidate to form the next government if Likud wins the upcoming elections.
The Jerusalem Post reports that the official statement came after Israel Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman told Channel 12 that he does not want Netanyahu to be the next prime minister from Likud and suggested Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein instead.
"We, the undersigned candidates on the Likud list for the 22nd Knesset, underscore that we will not receive any dictation from any other party," the Likud statement reads. "Without regard to the results of the election, Netanyahu is the Likud's only candidate for prime minister, and there will be no other candidate."
Netanyahu thanked his fellow party members for their support ahead of Israel's national elections on September 17.
"Thanks to the Likud members for their unequivocal support. We are always united!" Netanyahu tweeted Sunday.
The rival Blue and White party responded in a statement claiming that the Likud party was secretly "preparing for the post-Netanyahu era."
"Bibi is right," Blue and White's Gantz Lapid tweeted. "Behind his back, everyone in Likud is already searching for his successor and talking about nothing but that. Right now they are whispering, but not for much longer."
The Likud condemned the Blue and White party and said: "the plot to replace Netanyahu after the election finally collapsed today."