Former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen is the leading candidate among Likud voters to succeed Prime Minister Netanyahu if he steps down as leader of the party, according to a Channel 12 news poll.
Asked who they would back as Likud leader if Netanyahu retires, 27 percent of Likud respondents say Cohen, followed by former Jerusalem mayor and current MK Nir Barkat with 16%.
After Barkat, the polls say Ambassador to the US and UN Gilad Erdan enjoys the backing of 8% of respondents, followed by Finance Minister Israel Katz with 5%, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein with 5%, Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin with 3% and Transportation Minister Miri Regev with 1%. Another 10% say someone else.
Cohen, whose term as head of the spy agency ended earlier this month, said in an interview broadcast Thursday that he didn’t rule out seeking the premiership one day, though he wasn’t contemplating such a move at this moment. Cohen is also seen as Netanyahu’s preferred choice to succeed him as Likud leader.