Avi Gabbay at The Jerusalem Post elections conference, April 3rd, 2019.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Labor leader Avi Gabbay began a process on Wednesday that could lead to replacing him as chairman of the party that he led to a record low of six seats in the April 9 elections.
In a meeting with the party’s elder statesman on Wednesday morning, Amir Peretz, Gabbay told him he would convene a party convention within 45 days. In the afternoon, he told the Labor Executive Committee that he would advance the next Labor leadership race to no later than October.
According to Labor’s constitution, after a party leader loses an election for prime minister, a new leadership race must automatically be held within 14 months, which would have been by June 2020.
Gabbay is not expected to run for reelection. Possible candidates include Itzik Shmuli and Stav Shaffir, who won the top slots on the party’s list for the next Knesset.
But Gabbay, who has never been an MK, will be sworn in on April 30 and does not intend to give up his seat in the Knesset.
In the Labor Executive Committee meeting, 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 was in 10 years ago.
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