Histadrut vote overshadowed by Trump

Yacimovich worried president will lower turnout.

May 22, 2017 19:01
1 minute read.
Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn. (photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)

More than half a million members of the Histadrut labor federation will be eligible to vote in Tuesday’s leadership race, which has been overshadowed by the visit of US President Donald Trump.

More than 2,000 polling stations will be open across the country from as early as 5 a.m. to as late as 10 p.m., including in hundreds of workplaces. The votes will be counted on Wednesday and Thursday.

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The race pits incumbent Avi Nissenkorn against Zionist Union MK Shelly Yacimovich.

Nissenkorn became the head of the Histadrut three years ago, when he was chosen by the union’s governing assembly following former chairman Ofer Eini’s resignation.

Yacimovich has painted herself as an outsider running against the establishment, while Nissenkorn has called her a political opportunist with no real connection to the union. The race has been full of mutual recriminations, with both sides accusing the other of forgeries and other wrongdoing.

Nissenkorn is an ally of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and most of the parties in the Knesset, which have reached a coalition agreement with him within the union.

Sources close to Yacimovich expressed concern that turnout in the race will be low because the Trump visit has kept the Histadrut out of the local news. But Nissenkorn’s aides said that, because most of the workers will vote at work, the only impact of the visit could be streets that are closed in Jerusalem.

If Yacimovich wins, she would be the first woman to head the Histadrut. She would be replaced in the Knesset by the next candidate on the Zionist Union list, Saleh Saad, who is Druse.

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