Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On presenting the party's diplomatic platform.
(photo credit: MERETZ)
Meretz will hold its first ever leadership race in which every party member can vote and every citizen can join the party, after Meretz’s governing council approved procedures for the race at a convention Sunday night at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds.
Ahead of the March 22 election, the party will hold a membership drive through February 17 that will allow thousands of new people to vote in the race.
Meretz currently has some 18,000 members.
The council approved the new procedures, with 87% voting in favor.
Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On declared victory after the vote, even though she had wanted an open primary in which all citizens could vote without becoming party members.
“The victory in the vote is very important to me, not just because I quit the Knesset to focus on the party but also because I see this as a historic milestone for Meretz,” Gal-On said.
Gal-On predicted that if she is reelected to lead the party, it would double its representation in the next Knesset, from five to 10. She will be challenged in the race by MK Ilan Gilon and Avi Dabush, a party activist from Kibbutz Bror Hayil.
Gilon said at the convention that he could widen the ranks of the party and bring it support from the periphery.