Incumbent Histadrut labor federation chairman Avi Nissenkorn claimed victory Wednesday over rival Zionist Union MK Shelly Yacimovich in the race to lead Israel’s biggest union.
Even though the final results of Tuesday’s vote will only be published on Thursday, Nissenkorn issued a statement touting his win 59% to 41%.
“The members of the Histadrut decided they prefer actions over talk,” Nissenkorn said, mocking Yacimovich, who once hosted a radio show called It’s All Talk.
Yacimovich, however, has not conceded defeat and will be filing an appeal, pointing to scores of alleged disturbances and irregularities in ballot stations, which her campaign called “systematic deception.” She asked the Tel Aviv District Court for a restraining order to stop the counting of the votes. Yacimovich said she was gathering evidence to try to get the election canceled, calling it “the worst corruption in the history of the state.”
“There have been more than 100 attempts to steal this election,” she wrote on Facebook.
Nissenkorn expressed regret that Yacimovich was not accepting the results.
“It is unfortunate that Yacimovich is not accepting her loss and is continuing her path of whining and mudslinging,” Nissenkorn’s campaign said. “We have gotten an impression she just wants to harm the Histadrut and organized labor.”
Nissenkorn’s victory could give a boost to the Labor Party leadership candidates who backed him, including Amir Peretz and Isaac Herzog. Former environmental minister Avi Gabbay supported Yacimovich and suffered a blow.