Some 55,000 registered voters of the Israeli Labor
Party will elect a new party chairman on Thursday. The acting Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich
faces Labor Faction Chairman Knesset Member Isaac Herzog.
More than 120 voting stations are to open Thursday morning in 79 locations across the country. The two candidates will vote in Tel Aviv and continue on to tour the other polling stations and encourage the registered members of the party to vote.
The party announced it has hired private investigators to operate across the country in order to prevent counterfeiting and pressure on voters. The party also announced increased police watch in the vicinity of polling stations throughout the day for events of disturbances. The voting will be permitted regardless of registered place of residence.
Labor chairwoman Yachimovich and Herzog (Photo: Gil Yohanan)Apart from the battle for the leadership of the party and the possible impeachment of Yachimovich, the primaries results bear possible implications on the composition of the coalition and the future of the party in the Knesset. While Yachimovich refuses to join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's
coalition and will only consider it if Israel
will face a possible peace treaty, Herzog did not publicly state he opposes entering the coalition, though sources close to him said he has no intention to automatically enter the government.
Yachimovich is perceived by many as a chairwoman who steered the party to have economic agenda alone due to the fact she maintained ambiguity in regards to diplomatic issues, thus failing to realize the party's potential in the last Knesset
The party received 15 mandates in the past elections, less than was anticipated by polls, and left many members and voters disappointed.
Herzog joins the chairmanship elections without any failures under his belt and with experience in the economic and diplomatic arenas, however some wonder if after so many years as the party's "number 2", he could conquer the first place and act as chairman.
As the polling stations will close at 10 pm, the votes will be collected and a winner may be announced Thursday night. If the results prove very close, the party's MKs will convene Friday morning in Tel Aviv
to deliver an official statement with the results.
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