Labor Primaries Yield Inconclusive Results; Yachimovich and Peretz Neck and Neck

Sheli Yachimovich and Amir Peretz receive 32% and 31% of votes respectively, Isaac Herzog trails behind with 25%, Amram Mitzna crashes.

After a relatively high voter turnout, the Labor primaries yielded inconclusive results on Monday, with Sheli Yachimovich and Amir Peretz at a near tie with 32% and 31% of the votes respectively, and Isaac Herzog trailing behind with 25%. A second round of elections will be held next week between Yachimovich and Peretz.

I would like to thank all the party members who decided to give me the majority of the votes, Yachimovich told activists in her camp, adding that this is an expression of faith in the path and the platform that the Labor Party wants.

Close competitor Amir Peretz expressed gratitude toward his supporters as well, saying voters came to the ballot stations focused and united.

The voter turnout was about 65 percent. Some 44,000 of the 66,000 registered party members came to cast their ballot. Sixty-two percent of the party's members voted in the Druze community and 61 percent in the Arab community, while it was 65 percent in the kibbutzim.

Although the turnout is high, party leaders had hoped it would be higher.

Amram Mitzna crashed. Even in the polling station in Yeruham, a town he headed in recent years, he was defeated by Amir Peretz 46 to 34.

The election campaign was marred by minor disorders, but by Monday night only a few complaints had been made about suspected forgeries.

Activists in the various campaign staffs reported alleged forgeries in two polling stations in the Arab community and a series of attempts to sabotage the elections.
Mitzna said that he will not be leaving the party despite his dwindling support, "but how involved I will be depends on who is elected party leader."

Dudu Bachar and Moti Milrod