Labor Party 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
An eight-month political saga that began when Defense Minister Ehud Barak split Labor and left it without a leader is set to end on Wednesday, when the party will choose between MKs Shelly Yacimovich and Amir Peretz.
Exactly 171 polling stations across the country will open at 10 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. in order to allow the 66,310 Labor members to cast their ballots. Results are expected late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.
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Both Yacimovich and Peretz expressed confidence they will emerge victorious in meetings with their campaign staff and volunteers on Tuesday.
“We have a close race ahead of us that we intend to win, but it won’t be easy,” Yacimovich told her loyalists at her headquarters at Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Center.
“Our support is huge but we have to make sure it makes its way to a
ballot box and decisive results, and doesn’t remain at home or merely in
‘likes’ on Facebook.”
In a speech to his loyalists in Afula Tuesday night, Peretz sounded as
if he had already won the race. He spoke about the need for the party to
start leading the way on diplomatic and socioeconomic issues in a way
that would eventually lead to the toppling of Prime Minister Binyamin
“Our goal will be to bring more and more Likud voters who are
disappointed with Netanyahu in order to increase the size of the center-
left bloc and enable the formation of a socioeconomic government of
peace,” Peretz said.
The key to victory in the race will be the ability of the candidates to
maximize voter turnout among their supporters. Turnout is expected to be
lower than the 66 percent who voted in the first round last Monday, due
to the defeat of candidates Isaac Herzog and Amram Mitzna.
Peretz is known for having a well-oiled machine that is able to get out
the vote where he has strong support in development towns and among
But Yacimovich has the support of two of Labor’s top vote contractors,
Druse former minister Salah Tarif and Histadrut Labor Federation chief
A lawyer for Peretz complained to Labor’s administration about Eini
illegally using Histadrut offices and staff to work for Yacimovich.
The Yacimovich campaign called the complaint “political spin with no connection to reality.”