(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Labor will hold a run-off between MKs Shelly Yacimovich and Amir Peretz
on September 21, after neither succeeded in winning the necessary 40
percent of the vote in the party primaries Monday.
As the last of
the votes were counted at the party’s headquarters at Beit Berl College
Saba, the two candidates were virtually tied, with Yacimovich having a
slight lead at 32% and Peretz holding 31%. MK Isaac Herzog secured only
25% and Amram Mitzna held 12%.
Labor candidates concerned about turnout in Monday
Politics: Labor’s long road to
Herzog said Monday night that he would hold consultations and decide on his actions in the next few days.
conceded defeat around midnight. Addressing his supporters in Haifa,
Mitzna thanked them for their hard work. "I respect the apparent
election results, and as I promised, I will stand by whoever is chosen
to chair the party."
Yacimovich on Monday night thanked her
supporters, saying the election results were "a clear message: The
voters want a social-democratic party, founded on values, one that
presents an alternative to the government."
Herzog on his achievement while stabbing out at Yacimovich. "Herzog
worked through difficult spins thrown his way by Yacimovich. I see him
and Mitzna as partners in the fight against [Prime Minister Binyamin]
The winner of the race will replace interim chairman Micha Harish to become the seventh party leader in the past decade.
Labor spokeswoman said 43,391 of the 66,310 eligible party members
exercised their right to vote, some 65 percent of the total. Turnout was
significantly lower in the Arab and Druse sectors, and particularly
high in the South.
Unlike in past Labor leadership races, no
polling stations were disqualified, as the voting passed nearly without
significant altercations or illegalities.
that at a polling station in the northeastern Negev Beduin village of
Abu Krenat, her representative was locked out for an hour while dozens
of votes were allegedly forged. Her rival Herzog complained about his
loyalists being attacked by haredim in Safed and about a ballot box that
was removed from a polling station in the northern Druse village of
Dozens of Herzog loyalists said they had received
messages telling them incorrectly they were not eligible to vote. Herzog
called the incident a “stinking maneuver” of a rival candidate.
a day of touring polling stations across the country, the four
candidates had expressed optimism close to press time that the results
would go their way.
Yacimovich said that based on the statistics
gathered by her campaign, the turnout among her supporters was 10
percent higher than that of the party membership in general.
we will know if Labor is headed toward a new horizon of hope,” she
said. “It’s true that there are a lot of egos in Labor and it won’t be
easy to unify the party, but I think the interpersonal disputes happened
because there was a lack of leadership and vision. I don’t think there
will be a split in the party. The democratic verdict of the voters will
Peretz said he had experience winning and losing
Labor primaries, and based on the positive atmosphere at polling
stations and his well-oiled organization, he was sure that he had won.
who trailed in the polls, said there was a long history of surveys in
party primaries being proven wrong. He pledged to honor any result but
expressed confidence that he would be the surprise of the race.