KKL’s Stenzler wins decision against Simhon appointment

A day after the Central District Court threw out the Labor Party’s attempt to appoint Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon as the next candidate for chairman of the Jewish National Fund/Keren Kayemet Leyisrael, current chairman and petitioner Efi Stenzler characterized the decision Monday as a “victory for justice.”
“It’s a victory for justice and a victory that democracy is returning to the Labor Party. Finally, according to the party’s constitution, every member has the right to be elected, and I am happy that same right will be extended to the next KKL chairman,” Stenzler told The Jerusalem Post.
Late last week, the Labor Party attempted to choose Simhon as its candidate for KKL chairman. According to the government coalition agreement, Labor received the right to elect or appoint a candidate to the position.
The chairman must be formally elected in mid-June at the Zionist Congress of the World Zionist Organization.
Stenzler, who is finishing his first four-year term and is also a member of the Labor Party, has been campaigning for democratic elections similar to those in which he was elected in 2006, rather than a direct appointment for the position.
To that end, he has appealed to the court several times, including this latest petition filed on Friday. In the wake of Stenzler’s appeal, he and Labor worked out an agreement, which was approved as a court decision.
According to the decision, the process carried out by the Labor Party last week was unequivocally nullified.
Instead, the court gave Labor three days to draw up the relevant regulations that should have appeared in the party’s constitution already.
Once drawn up, the regulations must be approved in 24 hours.
Sources close to Stenzler said Monday that Labor had intentionally dragged its feet in writing up the regulations to gain more time.
However, the court did not rule on whether the candidate for next KKL chairman should be appointed or elected.
The judge also allowed Stenzler to appeal the regulations to the court if he felt there were grounds for an appeal.