Yacimovich rivals to demand March vote

Supporters and challengers of the Labor leader are expected to clash at party convention over date of chairmanship race.

Labor party leaders 390 (photo credit: Lahav Harkov)
Labor party leaders 390
(photo credit: Lahav Harkov)
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich’s opponents for chairmanship of the party intend to gang up on her at Friday’s Labor convention and push for an alternative timetable for the race, party sources said Monday.
The convention, which will be held at Tel Aviv’s Beit Hahayal, is expected to be a stormy clash between supporters of Yacimovich and her challengers.
Yacimovich will present a proposal at the event for the election to be held on November 21. According to the proposal, the last day a Labor member could have joined the party to be able to vote in the race would be May 21, six months before the primary, following the party’s bylaws.
MKs Isaac Herzog, Erel Margalit and Eitan Cabel will propose that a special membership drive begin Friday and end on October 31. According to their proposal, the race would be held on March 25, 14 months after the last general election, as the party’s constitution requires.
Yacimovich’s three rivals know that she is very powerful in the party, so they intend to request that the vote on the date for the race be held by secret ballot. Labor secretary-general Hilik Bar, who will run the meeting, said a secret-ballot vote was unnecessary and would take a long time, but he would prepare for it.
“It is not like someone will pull a gun on them if they vote the wrong way,” Bar said.
“Everyone realizes the party is a democracy.”
But sources close to the three challengers said Yacimovich was running the party undemocratically.
They accused her of stacking Labor’s election committee with her allies and using the October 22 municipal election to intimidate party activists by saying their local candidates would not receive funding from the party if they do not back her.
Six hundred signatures from among the 1,800 Labor central committee members are required to force a secret-ballot vote. The three candidates said it was hard to work on drafting the signatures because they are busy with their parliamentary work, but they expressed confidence they could succeed.