Israel’s Labour Party elects Amir Peretz as new leader

Amir Peretz, a former Israeli defence minister, took just shy of half the votes in the Labour Party primaries.
Wednesday 03/07/2019
Former Israeli defence minister Amir Peretz poses in Tel Aviv, February 11.  (AFP)
Former Israeli defence minister Amir Peretz poses in Tel Aviv, February 11. (AFP)

JERUSALEM — Israel’s Labour Party said its former leader Amir Peretz has won the party primaries, fending off two young rivals seeking to lead the one-time ruling party into upcoming parliamentary elections.

Peretz, a former defence minister, took just shy of half the votes in Tuesday’s Labour Party primaries, beating Itzik Shmuli and Stav Shaffir, who evenly split the remainder.

Former party leader Avi Gabbay resigned last month after April’s parliamentary vote saw Labour sink to a historic low of just six seats in Israel’s 120-seat parliament, the Knesset.

Israel faces an unprecedented repeat election scheduled for September 17 after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition and opted to dissolve parliament.

(AP)