With MKs behind him, Herzog to challenge for Labor chair

With MKs behind him, Herzog to challenge for Labor chair

Party No. 2 meeting with MKs Cabel and Margalit to present united front against incumbent Yachimovich in November primaries

MK Isaac Herzog (photo credit: Orel Cohen/Flash90)
MK Isaac Herzog (photo credit: Orel Cohen/Flash90)

Labor MKs Isaac Herzog, Eitan Cabel and Erel Margalit were expected to meet on Sunday night to discuss presenting a united front against party chairperson Shelly Yachimovich in upcoming elections for the party leadership.

The party’s primaries are slated for November 21, and of Sunday evening, Yachimovich was the only announced candidate to lead the party.

According to Channel 10, Herzog, currently the No. 2 in party, will announce his candidacy on Monday, but only after he has made sure that he is the only challenger to Yachimovich.

Yachimovich has faced criticism within Labor for the party’s weak showing in elections earlier this year and for failing to energize the voter base around the historically dovish party.

The party has faced endemic instability over the last several years, churning out a series of leaders in an attempt to regain its footing as one of the country’s main political factions.

Yachimovich has focused on returning stability to Labor, calling on supporters to help her “make history” in becoming “the first party chair in a long time to be reelected,” when she launched her reelection bid in July.

After the January election, which saw Labor get 15 seats, five fewer than predicted by pollsters, MK Eitan Cabel placed blame with Yachimovich.

“Yachimovich enjoyed the kind of backing that no other party leader has had in recent years,” Cabel said soon after the election. “We need to do some soul-searching and find where the mistake was.”

Other senior party officials complained that Yachimovich ran a one-woman show during the campaign, did not consult with anyone else on a strategy, and harmed Labor’s chances by focusing on socioeconomic issues to the exclusion of security and diplomacy.

Sunday evening’s meeting between Herzog, Cabel and Margalit was not the first time the three met to discuss working together to topple Yachimovich. They announced a meeting within hours after the chairman set the date for the primaries.

According to Channel 10, earlier on Sunday, Histadrut head Ofer Eini convinced Margalit not to announce his own candidacy, but rather to support Herzog in his run for party leadership.

Stuart Winer and Haviv Rettig Gur contributed to this report.

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