IN PICTURES: Labor primaries, can new party leaders bring hope?

Young leaders and newcomers dominate the party list, offering a message of change and vigor, will that be enough in April elections?

February 12, 2019 01:43
2 minute read.
Labor party primaries

Labor party supporters at the primaries in Tel Aviv on February 11, 2019. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)


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The Labor primaries were held on Monday throughout the country as some 34,000 registered Labor members cast ballots for the candidates to make up the party list for the 2019 Knesset elections. Labor, known as Avoda in Hebrew, has been facing a crisis with polls indicating their worst turnout in the history of the storied party.

The Labor party announces the results of the primaries February 11, 2019.

The precursor to the Labor was the political home for Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, and later Nobel Peace Prize winners Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres as well as other prime ministers and Israeli history-makers. They have been the main opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling Likud party and have favored territorial compromise and promoted liberal economic policies.

A Labor party member holds a sign reading "Netanyahu resign" outside the Tel Aviv Convention Center where Labor primaries were held Monday.

MK Avi Gabbay as Labor party head, did not compete in the primaries and will be in the number 1 slot. The results of Monday's primaries are as follows although the exact order of the list will be determined at a later date prior to the April 9th elections. Gabbay has the right to give the second and tenth slot to a candidate of his choosing and the eleventh slot is reserved for Labor secretary-general Eran Hermoni.

MK Stav Shaffir won the second most votes at the Labor primaries February 11, 2019

1. MK Itzik Shmuly, a leader in the 2011 tent protests
2. MK Stav Shaffir, a leader in the 2011 tent protests
3.  MK Shelly Yacimovich, former Labor party head
4. MK Amir Peretz, former Labor party head
5. MK Merav Michaeli, freshman MK
6. MK Omer Bar-Lev
7. MK Revital Swid, freshman MK
8. Yair “Yaya” Fink, Yacimovich’s former political adviser
9. MK Michal Biran
10. Gavri Bargil, chairman of Oranim Academic College
11. MK Eitan Cabel, critic of Gabbay's party leadership

Labor leader MK Avi Gabbay meets with supporters in Tel Aviv at the party primaries February 11, 2019

On April 9th, Israeli voters will be able to select one party, determining the number of seats each party will receive in the 120-seat Knesset. Any Israeli citizen can join a party and vote in their primaries although smaller parties often choose to appoint their list rather than have their membership decide the composition of their candidates.

MK Itzik Shmuly won the most votes in his party's primaries February 11, 2019.

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