(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
leadership candidate MK Isaac Herzog filed a complaint on Monday to the
Election Committee during voting hours that someone was sending out
thousands of text-messages with a statement from him telling Labor Party
members they were not eligible to vote.
Herzog himself called the alleged phishing a "dirty trick," while a statement from his camp claimed that the incident proved other candidates feared Herzog's "widespread support."
Labor candidates concerned about turnout in Monday
Politics: Labor’s long road to
Meanwhile, by 9:30 p.m. approximately 42,000 had
already voted in Monday's primary for the Labor Party leadership race,
representing 63% of the 66,310 eligible voters.
supporters and campaign staff, the four candidates toured the country's
polling stations, with Isaac Herzog and Shelly Yacimovich in the Center,
Amram Mitzna in the North and Amir Peretz in the South.
Mitzna cast his vote in Herzliya, Yacimovich in Tel Aviv, and Peretz in Sderot. Herzog had not yet voted.
Labor Party chairman Binyamin Ben-Eliezer maintained a neutral position
in the elections, and issued an impassioned plea for the victor to do
all in his/her power to keep the party united.
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Polls opened at
10 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. for the 66,310 party members eligible to
cast a ballot. Because votes will be counted by hand at Labor
headquarters in Kfar Saba, results are not expected until early Tuesday
The four candidates for the Labor Party leadership each expressed
confidence on Sunday that he or she will emerge victorious in Monday’s
The candidates spent Sunday meeting with their campaign
teams and volunteers, encouraging them to do everything possible to get
out the vote. In photo opportunities at their campaign offices, they all
boasted that they had the election- day organization to carry them to
“Our team of 3,000 volunteers will bring 25,000 to
30,000 members to polling stations across the country and we figure more
will come on their own,” MK Amir Peretz told reporters at his campaign
headquarters in Tel Aviv.
Peretz said his goal was to not only receive more votes than the other
candidates but also to obtain the 40 percent of the vote necessary to
avoid a September 21 run-off race against the second-place finisher.
MK Shelly Yacimovich, who has been leading in the polls, cautioned her volunteers against complacency.
“The polls are terrific, but the votes you get in the polls don’t count,” she said at her Tel Aviv headquarters.
“We have a huge amount of volunteers all over the country and we are ready.”
MK Isaac Herzog and former Labor chairman Amram Mitzna said they did not
believe any of the candidates would get enough votes to avoid a run-off
“There will be a second round and I will be in it,” Mitzna said at his
campaign headquarters in Haifa, where he was mayor from 1993 to 2003.
“Every vote matters. The race is wide open. At the ballot box, people
will vote according to their conscience for who they really believe in.”
Herzog said his support had increased by 10 percent in the past week,
thanks to activists loyal to Histadrut labor federation chief Ofer Eini
and MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who hasn’t endorsed a candidate.
“This will be a very close race,” Herzog said at his Ramat Gan campaign headquarters. “I will be the surprise of this election.”
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