Peretz: Yacimovich strong-armed voters at the ballot box

Labor MK criticizes opponent in upcoming run-off for Labor Party leadership, saying she used "lowest possible tactics in Israeli politics."

September 13, 2011 10:47
1 minute read.
Amir Peretz greets supporters

Amir Peretz greets supporters311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post))

MK Amir Peretz on Tuesday attacked his opponent for the leadership of the Labor Party, MK Shelly Yacimovich, saying that she had resorted to the "lowest possible tactics in Israeli politics," during Monday's primary election in which she slightly edged Peretz with 32 percent of the vote to his 31%. Labor will hold a run-off between Yacimovich and Peretz on September 21, after neither succeeded in winning the necessary 40 percent of the vote in the primary.

"I always bring people to the party who I believe can contribute. I brought Shelly to the party, I cultivated and raised her, and then she utilized the tools I gave her," Peretz stated in an Army Radio interview. "I didn't bring her because I thought she was not a threat to me, but yesterday people were strong-armed into voting for Shelly Yacimovich at the ballot box."

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The Yacimovich camp rejected the claims as "baseless," saying in a statement that she would continue to lead a "clean and ideological" campaign.

Yacimovich said that Labor Party members are not "marionettes waiting for instructions from above, they will vote for the candidate they think is most fit."

She responded that she was leading a campaign to take votes away from Kadima leader Tzipi Livni, whereas Peretz was attempting to take votes away from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Yacimovich stated that Kadima is not the alternative to the Likud because it is also a neo-capitalist party like the Likud, whereas Labor is the real alternative ruling party.

MK Issac Herzog, who received 25% of the vote in the primary said that he will make a decision in the coming days about who to support in the run-off  based on who he believes can keep the party united.

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