Yesh Atid announces first party primaries ten years after formation

The primaries will be held at a party conference on January 4, 2022.

Yesh Atid Party leader Yair Lapid.  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Yesh Atid Party leader Yair Lapid.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Coalition partner Yesh Atid announced on Saturday that it will hold a vote to choose its leader on January 4, the first such vote since the party’s founding ten years ago.

Those wishing to challenge for the leadership must declare their candidacy by December 21.

Yesh Atid founder and leader Yair Lapid said in September 2020 that the party had begun to examine options for democratization, which he said was a natural next step that a major party which is an alternative to government must take.

That month, Ofer Shelah, who at the time was a Yesh Atid MK, challenged Lapid to hold a leadership vote. While Lapid initially agreed to hold a vote between the two of them in the future, he did not agree at the time to hold an open primary election.

Shelah subsequently left Yesh Atid and founded the Tnufah Party, although it eventually pulled out of the 2021 election.

Asked if he would consider rejoining the party following Saturday’s announcement, Shelah said that he would not.

Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah (credit: Courtesy)Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah (credit: Courtesy)

The party conference at which the primary will take place will be attended by an estimated 1,000 people. Yesh Atid stated that it will publish its bylaws on Sunday and they will be available for scrutiny on the party’s website.

It released a list of its main goals and objectives ahead of the bylaws, which encompassed eight items, including the following:

• Building and strengthening the Zionist-Liberal Center as a main means for the preservation of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

• Consolidating Yesh Atid as a ruling party with historical consciousness and a deep national commitment.

• Protecting the system of checks and balances necessary to maintain a nation-state, giving equal civil rights to every citizen, and standing up to any form of extremism.

• Preserving Israel’s Jewish identity and maintaining its place as the spiritual center for world Jewry.

• Striving for peace with Israel’s neighbors and especially for peace within us between all the tribes, ethnicities, communities and religions that make up Israeli society.