(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Labor Party will hold its convention at Tel Aviv University on Sunday to vote on adding 450 activists to the party’s central committee.
The list includes loyalists of party leader Isaac Herzog, former Labor head Shelly Yacimovich, Histadrut labor federation chief Avi Nissenkorn, and MKs Eitan Cabel, Erel Margalit, Itzik Shmuli as part of a political deal. The additions change the balance of power in the central committee, which currently has some 1,700 members.
MKs Yossi Yonah and Miki Rosenthal complained about the deal last week, calling it dirty politics.
The agreement sparked speculation that Herzog would use his new loyalists in the central committee to pass a proposal to postpone the next Labor leadership race, which must be held by May 2016, by at least a year. Delaying the race could pave the way for Herzog to join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
The Jerusalem Post
’s Hebrew sister publication, Ma’ariv Sof Hashavua
, reported Friday that Netanyahu has offered Herzog seven portfolios to join the government, including foreign affairs and justice. The report said Netanyahu would agree to shift the coalition guidelines more toward the center, if Labor joins.
A spokesman for Herzog denied both the report and the speculation.
There is expected to be another Labor convention next month, during which Herzog is to announce the date for the next Labor leadership race. In that race, he is likely to be challenged by Yacimovich and perhaps by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, as well as former IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi.
A Panels Research poll broadcast Thursday found that Zionist Union voters prefer Yacimovich to Herzog, 32 percent to 27%. Ashkenazi received 14% and Huldai 9%. Others selected MKs who are not expected to run declined to respond or answered “none of the above.”