Zehava Gal-On
Photo: Haim Tzach
Meretz names MK Gal-On new chairwoman
Head of party's Knesset faction wins 60% of votes against MK Ilan Ghilon, Ori Ophir

MK Zahava Gal-On was elected as Meretz chairwoman Tuesday, winning 60% of the votes. Gal-On won 506 votes, beating MK Ilan Ghilon, who received 306 votes, and Ori Ophir, who only obtained 23 of the votes.


Dozens of Gal-On's supporters celebrated after learning of her victory. The chairwoman has now become the third woman to lead a Left-Central, following Labor Chairwoman  Shelly Yachimovich and Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni.


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Gal-On said: "Under my leadership, Meretz will bring Israel's Left home... it will no longer be a boutique, north Tel Avivian faction. Meretz will translate last summer's social protest into political power. It will be a true social-democratic party that supports dividing the land (of Israel)."


MK Nitzan Horowitz congratulated Gal-On and announced that he would work beside her to strengthen the party and lead it ahead of the upcoming elections. 


Some 950 members of the Meretz party's central committee gathered at a lone polling station at Tel Aviv's Exhibition Grounds when the polls opened at 4 pm.


Meretz was founded in 1992 and gained 12 Knesset seats at the height of its popularity. Currently only three party members represent the party in the Israeli parliament.



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