Amir Peretz to run for labor union leadership

Amir Peretz to run for labor union leadership

Former Histadrut head readies a bid to regain a position he held for nearly a decade

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Amir Peretz (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Amir Peretz (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Labor party MK Amir Peretz signed up Tuesday for a bid to once again be leader of the Histadrut labor federation, the country’s largest labor organization.

Peretz’s supporters set up a group called Otzmah and gathered the 5,000 signatures required for registration as a candidate.

Peretz headed the Histadrut from 1997 to 2006, after which he left to join the Labor Party, eventually becoming the party’s chairman. Peretz led the party to a second-place showing in the 2006 elections, losing to Kadima head Ariel Sharon. Despite his lack of military background he was appointed defense minister, then was fired in the aftermath of the Second Lebanon War.

Sources close to Peretz said he has made his bid dependent on the fate of fellow Labor MK Eitan Cabel, who also has set his sights on the position, Haaretz reported. Cabel’s candidacy is in doubt because he joined the Histadrut too late to allow him to run for chairman.

Maariv reported that Cabel intends to appeal the Histadrut’s internal justice body rejection last week of Cabel’s bid. If he is successful, Peretz will withdraw his candidacy.

Current chairman Ofer Eini also intends to run for another term, Israel Radio reported Wednesday.

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