The High Court of Justice on Monday rejected a petition filed by the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel and National Union Party MK Aryeh Eldad, which called on President Shimon Peres to return $320,000 in campaign contributions that he received in 2004 to pursue the Labor Party leadership.
In December 2004, the party decided to hold the primary six months later, that is, in May 2005. It also declared that the primary race would officially begin two weeks after the decision had been passed. Within those two weeks, Peres received the disputed contributions.
The law at the time declared that the restrictions on contributions were to go into effect nine months before the primary date. Thus Peres received the contributions within the nine-month period, but before the campaign officially began.
The court ruled that Peres had not violated the law, but urged the Knesset to change the rules so that the contribution restrictions would go into effect from the day the decision to hold party leadership primaries was made.