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Lapid’s Yesh Atid to hold leadership election in coming months — report

1,000 party members and lawmakers will reportedly be eligible to vote for a chairperson; unclear if anyone will challenge incumbent; no vote to be held for party’s Knesset slate

Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid speaks during a faction meeting at the Knesset on October 4, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid speaks during a faction meeting at the Knesset on October 4, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

In the coming months, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party will hold primaries to choose its chairperson, Channel 13 news reported on Thursday.

The electoral mechanism itself had not yet been finalized, but according to the network, around 1,000 activists who have been in the party for a period of time not specified in the report, as well as lawmakers from the faction, will be eligible to elect a new head.

Those who want to run for party leader will also be required to have a number of years of experience in the party, according to the report.

It was not clear if anyone would challenge Lapid, and additionally, any potential time limits to the term of the party head have not yet been announced. There was also no plan to hold internal elections for the party slate, which will continue to be determined by the party’s chair as has been the case so far.

In September last year, Lapid rejected a call for a leadership vote by then-Yesh Atid lawmaker Ofer Shelah, which would have been its first vote since the party’s founding in 2012 by Lapid.

An election campaign billboard of Tnufa party leader Ofer Shelah, in Tel Aviv on January 17, 2021. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Shelah later left the party to start his own political movement ahead of the March election but dropped out during the race.

If the reported voting rules are used for Yesh Atid’s next internal election, Shelah would likely be unable to contend, the network said.

The next legislative election is scheduled for November 2025, provided the newly elected government manages to pass a state budget by a November 14 deadline. Failure to pass the budget bills in the Knesset by the deadline would automatically dissolve the parliament and trigger elections.

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