Labor, Likud candidates face possible disqualification from running

Likud candidate Pinchas Idan may also be disqualified. Both are said to not have waited the necessary cooling-off period between holding senior positions and entering electoral politics.

Tal Rousso (photo credit: Courtesy)
Tal Rousso
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Labor leader Avi Gabbay’s appointee to the party’s list for the next Knesset, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Tal Russo, may be disqualified from running, along with Likud candidate Pinchas Idan, for not waiting the necessary cooling-off period between holding senior positions and entering electoral politics.
Central Elections Committee chairman Hanan Melcer ordered both candidates and their parties to send their responses to the matter by Sunday evening.
Melcer pointed out that Russo served as the commander of the IDF’s Depth Command, which plans and coordinates military operations far from Israel, less than three years ago, the legal cooling-off period for top IDF officers.
Rousso left the position in May 2017, which he held as a reservist, but he served full-time and with the conditions of a career officer.
In the past, the Central Elections Committee has been very strict on the matter, banning former IDF chief of staff Shaul Mofaz from running when he was 11 days short of the full waiting period, which was six months at the time.
Then-prime minister Ariel Sharon appointed Mofaz as defense minister after the 2003 elections.
Idan is the head of the Israel Airports Authority’s labor union, and was employed at the highest rank in the IAA until January 6 of this year, after which he was dropped to the fifth-highest rank.
Employees in the top four ranks of the civil service must resign at least 100 days before the elections.
Melcer said “this change in rank was apparently executed only for the purpose of submitting candidacy” in the upcoming election.