Meretz’s open primaries plan advances

Gal-On has vowed to quit politics if her plan for open primaries does not pass.

December 18, 2017 08:10
1 minute read.
Zehava Gal-On

Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On presenting the party's diplomatic platform. (photo credit: MERETZ)

Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On’s plan to initiate open primaries in her party has passed a key hurdle, when the party’s executive committee approved it by a vote of 21 to 15. The plan will now advance to the party’s governing council, which rejected it several months ago, when it had a different composition.

Gal-On expressed confidence on Sunday that she can pass it at the January 7 Meretz convention, in part because a new council was elected in October. She has vowed to quit politics if she does not pass the plan.

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“It is our responsibility to be courageous, ready for change, and to open the ranks of Meretz,” Gal-On said. “Only an open Meretz can be a large Meretz, and I hope the council will make a decisive choice to be open and large.”

The proposal would let nonmembers of Meretz vote in the next leadership primary for the party and choose its Knesset candidates, as long as they pay a fee. It is seen as a model for what could be done in the Center Left to choose a candidate to face Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the next general election, if criminal investigations do not end his political career.

MK Ilan Gilon, who opposes the proposal and has mocked it, said he would not let random people decide Meretz’s leader and its candidates for the next Knesset.

Gal-On has cited a poll that found that 83% of Meretz voters want her proposal approved.

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