Peretz announces he will not run in next Labor primaries

"At this point in time, the Labor Party needs to go through a renewal process. It needs new leadership," Peretz wrote on Facebook.

Chairman of the Labor party Amir Peretz seen during a press conference with Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz and party members in Tel Aviv on March 12, 2020. (photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
Chairman of the Labor party Amir Peretz seen during a press conference with Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz and party members in Tel Aviv on March 12, 2020.
(photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
Labor Party head Amir Peretz announced on Wednesday that he will not be running for reelection as Labor leader or seeking a seat in the next Knesset.
The announcement was made in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
"At this point in time, the Labor Party needs to go through a renewal process. It needs new leadership," Peretz wrote on Facebook.
Peretz wrote that he did everything in his power to bring new leadership to Israel, referring to Alternative Prime Minister Benny Gantz.
"I knew I was going to pay a heavy price for it," he explained, "but I wanted to avoid a fourth election run, one that would've set or shaken our political world and deepened the chasm among the nation."
He added that if Netanyahu had succeeded in forming a government back in the summer, it would've been an extremist, right-wing one.
"I joined the Israeli government, and I'm not sorry about it," he insisted.
Labor MK Merav Michaeli, who refused to enter the coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, welcomed Peretz's departure. "The time has come," she wrote on Twitter. "We need primaries among our members now."
Michaeli has challenged a decision carried through Labor institutions by Peretz to cancel the primaries and have both the party's leader and its Knesset list chosen by the party's activists.
Michaeli appealed the decision to the Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday. "I believe Labor can be rehabilitated quickly and returned to be the political home of an overwhelming majority of Israelis who have no one to vote for and are waiting for leadership with a spine," she said.
Besides Michaeli, possible candidates for Labor leader include, Social Welfare Minister Itzik Shmuli, Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn and Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah.