Labor will vote for a new leader in November, the party’s executive committee announced on Monday.
The leadership primary comes after the party dropped from 24 to a record low of six seats in last month’s Knesset election, under Avi Gabbay’s stewardship.
The November date is long before that required by Labor’s constitution, which is June 2020.
Possible leadership candidates include MKs Itzik Shmuly and Stav Shaffir, who won the top slots on the party’s list for the next Knesset. MK Amir Peretz, a former party chairman, offered to be a caretaker leader until closer to the next Knesset election, but may run in November’s primary after his proposal was rejected.
MK Shelly Yacimovich, another former Labor leader, announced that she would not run. Following reports that he was running for party leader, new MK Tal Russo – who was appointed to the party’s list and has never run in any primaries – said he has yet to make a decision.
Gabbay intends to retain his seat in the Knesset.
In a Labor Executive Committee meeting last month, Gabbay admitted that falling to six MKs from the 24 it won in 2015, as part of the Zionist Union, left the party NIS 4 million in debt. But party officials said the debt was relatively small compared to the NIS 80m. debt the party had 10 years ago.
Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.