Labor MK Efrat Rayten will run against her faction leader Merav Michaeli in the next party primaries, she announced on Friday afternoon.
Speaking on Channel 12's Ofira and Berkovich program, Rayten said she "will put herself forward as a candidate" to head the left-wing Knesset faction.
"I have no doubt that I will put myself up as a candidate in the next elections for the chairman of the Labor Party," Rayten stated, "I think this is part of what is beautiful about our party, unlike other parties, we have institutions, and we have activists."
"I have no doubt that I will put myself up as a candidate in the next elections for the chairman of the Labor Party."- Efrat Rayten
A date for the next primary election in Labor has not yet been set.
Michaeli refused ahead of the 2022 election to merge with its sister left-wing party, Meretz. Labor ended up winning just four seats compared to seven in the previous election, and Meretz ended up falling just below the electoral threshold and did not make it into the Knesset – wasting over 150,000 votes that would have gone to the current opposition bloc.
Future of the Labor party
Rayten in the interview commented on Michaeli's performance as the Labor Party leader.
"I think she is being treated wrongly. Obviously, if you look in retrospect, a merger with Meretz could have changed the entire picture. It's not certain that this is what would've prevented the formation of the current government, but it could have narrowed the gap between the blocs," Rayten said.
Labor MK Gilad Kariv has also been mentioned as a potential leader of the party. In a post on Facebook last month, Kariv wrote about the necessity to form a new Zionist left-wing bloc that would include traditional voters for Labor and Meretz and bring back voters who shifted to centrist parties Yesh Atid and National Unity.
Rayten, 51, joined the Knesset in 2021 under the Lapid-Bennett government. She began her career as an actress and television host on Israel Children’s Channel and on Channel 10 (today’s Channel 13), but eventually studied law and joined the Israeli bar in 2012.