Yachimovich plans to call early party primaries

Labor leader reportedly mulling preemptive move as challenges to her leadership grow

Labor Party chief Shelly Yachimovich plans to hold early primary elections for the party’s leadership, possibly as early as November.

Yachimovich faces challenges to her leadership from the likes of Labor MKs Eitan Cabel, Yitzhak Herzog, and Erel Margalit, who have criticized her running of the party and have expressed their intention to vie for the top spot. Cabel had  accused her of “democratically imposing a dictatorship.”

According to Channel 10’s Raviv Drucker, another reason to move up the elections would be to prevent competition by popular external challengers like former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.

“Yachimovich wants to run and win again before Ashkenazi decides what to do,” said Drucker.

Yachimovich has faced serious criticism from party members for her conduct, and especially for the party’s poor showing in the January elections in which the party secured 15 seats. This was two more than it won in the previous elections, but was nonetheless perceived as a failure given the relative unpopularity of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his outgoing government.

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