Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On presenting the party's diplomatic platform.
(photo credit: MERETZ)
Meretz’s governing council will meet at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds on Sunday to vote on a proposal that could lead to the departure of party chairwoman Zehava Gal-On.
Initiated by a group of Meretz activists led by Dr. Avi Ofer, the proposal would advance the next Meretz leadership primary from January 2019 to February 2018. The proposal is a compromise from what Ofer’s group initially presented: Holding the election on October 26, when Meretz will elect a new council.
Despite the compromise, Gal-On said she would view the proposal’s passage as a vote to topple her and that she would have no choice but to “reach conclusions” about her continued leadership of the party.
“The proposal is not a compromise, but an expression of no-confidence in me,” Gal-On wrote to council members. “Come to the meeting and send a message to our party members and voters that Meretz is still their political home.”
Sources close to Gal-On blamed the proposal on her party rival, MK Ilan Gilon, but Gilon said he would speak at the meeting against the proposal and bring a different proposition to a vote.
Gilon’s proposal would be to have the new council set a date for the race. But Gal-On rejected that offer, as well, saying she was elected to a four-year term in January 2015.
“The convention is a waste of time,” Gilon told The Jerusalem Post
. “Zehava is a fitting leader. She does not need to leave and has not been asked to leave.”
Gal-On is in favor of initiating open primaries in which any Israel citizen can vote for the Meretz leader and Knesset slate. The council has voted against the idea twice.