Photo: Yaron Brener
Gilon. The winner
Photo: Yaron Brener
Gal-On. Came second
Photo: Ofer Amram
Chairman Oron casts vote
Photo: Ofer Amram

Meretz primaries: Ilan Gilon takes top spot

Party's internal elections yield surprising results, with former MK Ilan Gilon coming ahead of MK Zahava Gal-On, former MK Mossi Raz ranked third, before MK Avshalom Vilan. Chairman Oron: 'Meretz presents today an excellent, energetic team'

Former Knesset Member Ilan Gilon won the Meretz primaries, which concluded Sunday night, coming ahead of MK Zahava Gal-On, who was favored to win the race.


Gilon will be placed second on the party's Knesset list after Meretz Chairman Chaim Oron, and followed by Gal-On, former MK Mossi Raz, MK Avshalom Vilan and newly-appointed MK Tzvia Greenfield.


Arab candidate Issawi Freij won the sixth spot and Michal Rozin won the seventh spot secured for a woman.

Meretz primaries (Photo: Ofer Amram)


However, the party's Knesset list is still expected to change following the planned merger with the new Left movement, which is likely to have two representatives on Meretz's top 10 list.


Chairman Oron, who took the stage after the results were released, said: "Today Meretz presents a young, energetic and excellent team. I congratulate the contenders and I'm sure that together we shall embark on a new path and win success in the upcoming elections."


High voter turnout rate

Meretz-Yahad's primary elections concluded Sunday night, as votes were being tallied to determine the leftist party's Knesset roster ahead of the upcoming general elections.


Some 87% of the eligible voters (871 out of 995) showed up at the only polling station in Tel Aviv's Exhibition Grounds, which opened at 2 pm.


The high voter turnout, particularly in comparison with the recent Likud and Labor primaries, can be attributed to the fact that the vote was not open to all registered Meretz members, but only to a select and relatively active group.


Chairman Oron said he was "very pleased" with the high voter turnout, and even more so with "the manner in which the elections were conducted."


Election Committee Chairman Mauzia Segal added that "Meretz has shown what democracy is all about."


As was the case in the Labor and Likud primaries, there were reports of political deals struck behind closed doors ahead of the Meretz elections. One such deal saw members of Israel's Kibbutz Movement supporting Knesset Member Avshalom Vilan and Gabi Bar-Gil, the movement's secretary-general.


פרסום ראשון: 12.14.08, 23:58
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