Labor Party disqualifies 15,000 members; 22,000 more may go

Sources close to one of candidates say they expect Peretz to be harmed most by the disqualifications, because he brought in the most forms.

Amir Peretz Labor campaign 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Amir Peretz Labor campaign 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Labor Party, which took pride in its registration drive that brought up its membership to 85,000, will have to settle for much less that after its five leadership candidates were given a rough draft of its membership rolls totaling 70,290 people.
About 15,000 membership forms were disqualified for various reasons.
Some 4,200 were illegally members of another party, 2,340 were illegally paid by someone who is not a close family member, 890 had incorrect information, 850 lacked a necessary declaration about wanting to join Labor, 1,600 had problems with the method of payment, 5,000 forms were received twice, and 62 of the people who joined the party have since died.
Members who were disqualified could appeal by July 20 before Labor’s final membership list is published on August 1. But some 22,000 forms that were included temporarily could still be disqualified due to additional problems with payments.
There were 28,000 Labor members already before the drive began. That means only around 20,000 members had no problems whatsoever in the drive.
“We worked carefully and honestly to check each form and I stand by our work,” Labor election committee chairman Ra’anan Cohen said. “This membership list is clean and has been through all the necessary checks. Any party would be proud of it. I call upon the party to unite behind it.”
Having the temporary membership rolls will allow the candidates and the media to conduct polls to see who is leading the race for chairman.
Sources close to one of the candidates said they expect MK Amir Peretz to be harmed most by the disqualifications, because he brought in the most forms, but Peretz’s campaign suggested otherwise.
“The overwhelming majority of the members we signed up were accepted,” a Peretz spokesman said. “Most of the ones who weren’t were because of technical mistakes that can be resolved and appealed in order to allow them to be able to vote. The Likud members who joined Labor are a sign that a revolution is on the way.”
MK Shelly Yacimovich, who is also running, told Channel 2 that it’s in Labor’s interest that its membership be smaller but more authentic and clean.
“Labor must be careful to ensure it will be left with people who want to be part of the party’s future,” Yacimovich said. “It angers me that there are people who were used and who don’t even know that they joined the party.”
Meanwhile, the Beersheba District Court announced convictions on Thursday regarding forgeries in the 2007 Labor primary between Ehud Barak and Ami Ayalon.