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Meretz members are planning to present a motion to bring forward elections for the party's leader to replace Yossi Beilin. The motion will be voted on at the party convention next month.
Calls for Beilin's resignation have been made over the last month and a half after the party received only five Knesset seats in the election, down one from the dismal results of the 2003 elections which prompted former chairman Yossi Sarid to resign. Beilin so far has resisted these calls, saying that he "accepts part of the responsibility but also sees himself as part of the solution."
The next election for party leader is scheduled to take place in 2008.
A group of members are planning to put a motion for earlier elections on the agenda of the convention that will take place on June 11. MK Ran Cohen, who is supporting the motion and is also planning to run against Beilin, said, "It's nothing personal against Beilin, but he has to take responsibility for the party's failure in the elections."
Cohen said he was sure that the motion would pass and that he believed the majority of members now support his candidacy. Two years ago, Cohen lost to Beilin in the last leadership vote.
Another leadership candidate is MK Zehava Gal-On, who was the first senior figure in the party to demand Beilin's resignation after the elections. Gal-On said Monday that she wasn't a partner to the motion, though she wouldn't be opposing it.
Gal-On is in favor of shortening the "initiation period" that allows new members to vote only after a year in the party. "Without that the elections will be the same people voting over again and we have to let new people in," she said.
Beilin's spokeswoman said that he wasn't worried about the motion and didn't believe that it would have sufficient votes to pass.
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