Amir Peretz was elected leader of the Labor party, winning 47% of the vote in yesterday's primaries, leaving him well ahead of Stav Shaffir with 26.9% of the vote and Itzik Shmuli 26.3%. The polls were kept open until 10pm because many voters had difficulty in reaching ballot stations due to the mass protests by Ethiopian immigrants who were blocking highways. In the end there was a 46% turnout with 30,000 people voting.
Nitzan Horowitz the newly elected leader of Meretz and former Labor party leader and prime minister Ehud Barak, who has set up his own independent party, called on Peretz to enter talks on setting up a united left wing list.
Peretz, 67, a former Mayor of Sderot, has served as chairman of the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) and succeeded Shimon Peres as the leader of the Labor party in 2005. He served as Minister of Defense in the Kadima-led coalition in 2006 but lost the Labor party leadership to Ehud Barak in 2007.
Knesset elections will be on September 17, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to put together a government following the April 9 elections.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 3, 2019
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019