(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog should be allowed to run as the party’s candidate for prime minister in the next election, two potential rivals, MKs Amir Peretz and Eitan Cabel, said on Wednesday.
The Labor Party’s constitution automatically sets an internal leadership race for 14 months after losing a general election. But MK Shelly Yacimovich, whom Herzog defeated to become Labor leader, has said she would support Herzog staying on, and now Peretz and Cabel have joined her in backing him.
“This is the time to support Isaac Herzog in his role as opposition leader,” Peretz told Israel Radio. “This is not the time to question him or deal with internal elections.”
Peretz, a former Labor chairman, said he would like to see a merger between Labor and Hatnua, which ran together in the March 17 election. He recommended building a larger Center-Left bloc ahead of the next general election.”
Cabel said he would try to get the next Labor leadership race canceled. He said that after leading the Zionist Union to 24 seats, he could see no better candidate for prime minister.
Herzog hosted a pre-Passover toast in Holon late on Tuesday in which he reiterated that he would not join the government that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is assembling.