Labor party creates new election list

Women, youths, and immigrants all reserved higher slots on the list.

amir peretz 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
amir peretz 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Labor party members can officially begin jostling for positions after the internal party committee announced the new labor electoral list Sunday. Women, youths, and immigrants were all reserved higher slots on the list, following strong urging from Peretz to give more representation to those groups. Party officials also announced that the primaries, in which party members will be elected to spots on the list, would be held January 17. The electoral list determines the list of candidate admission into the Knesset. The first spot is traditionally reserved for the party chairman, while each party determines the order of the list according to their own system. The past few weeks have seen increased murmurs of discontent among veteran members of the Labor party, who feel that they are being pushed out of the list by the limelight of the new candidates. The Labor Party divides its list into two categories, with the first 15 slots reserved for the national list and the rest allocated to candidates representing various sectors. Due to this organization, a standing Labor MK may lose their spot in the Knesset if they can't make it into the first 15 slots. Even if a candidate receives enough votes to earn the number 16 spot they get pushed back in the list in favor of candidates representing sectors reserved for those slots. Although rumors had circulated that MK Collete Avital and Former New York Consul General Alon Pinkas might leave the party over the publicity surrounding new party members, the two told The Jerusalem Post that they will remain in Labor. "I believe that the playing field needs to be leveled," said Pinkas, noting that that some members were being depicted as "Peretz cronies." "By having the same five or six people around him constantly he is sending a certain message to the voters, telling them that these are the people that the chairman wants to see on the list.' Rumors that former Prime Minister Ehud Barak may leave Labor were also quieted Sunday when Barak made a brief appearance at the Tel Aviv party headquarters ahead of the vote on the list. According to the list, Amir Peretz will receive the top slot, with Labor Secretary-General Eitan Cabel receiving the sixth spot and MK Michael Melchior in the tenth spot as part of the merger agreement between Labor and Melchior's faction, Meimad. The number five, nine, twelve, and fifteen spots are being reserved for female candidates. The move to include four guaranteed spots for women came as part of a new Labor initiative to increase female representation in the Knesset. In the following order, the next seven spots are reserved for candidates representing small towns, kibbutzim, suburbs, the Arab community, the Druse community, and new immigrants. The rest of the positions are kept for regional candidates, with the exception of the number 26, which is for candidates representing elderly communities, and number 27, representing youths.