Labor race could be delayed over lists

Controversial membership drive leads to multiple appeals which head of party's election committee says he can't keep pace with.

Labor 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Labor 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The head of the Labor election committee, former MK Ra’anan Cohen, warned the five candidates in the September 12 party leadership race on Tuesday that he may have no choice but to delay the primary.
Cohen complained about the many appeals issued by the candidates on the party’s membership rolls, whose final version still hasn’t been published following a controversial membership drive. He said he could not keep pace with so many appeals.
In a blow to the candidacy of MK Amir Peretz, the party’s internal court decided Tuesday to expel 823 new Labor members who did not take proper steps to leave Likud before joining Labor. The 823 members submitted a document with their registration form saying that by joining Labor, they no longer saw themselves as part of their former party.
But the court ruled that just like people getting married needed a proper divorce, joining a new party requires properly leaving their old party. The internal court met at the request of Peretz’s rival, MK Shelly Yacimovich, and it will convene again soon to decide the fate of more than 4,000 additional former members of other parties whom she also wants expelled.
The Peretz campaign released a statement calling the court’s decision unreasonable and vowing to continue efforts to bring new voices into the party. Peretz said he would appeal the decision to a higher internal party court or to a district court.
Yacimovich will meet with Labor members Wednesday night in Jerusalem’s German Colony. The other four candidates will speak at an event in Be’er Tuvia. MK Isaac Herzog, who is also a candidate, complained that Yacimovich should not miss an event where all the other candidates were speaking.