Israel Election Updates / Habayit Hayehudi Primary Underway

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Habayit Hayehudi activists hang a banner in support of MK Ayelet Shaked at a polling station in north Tel Aviv, Jan. 14, 2015. Credit: Dudu Bachar

Tuesday's political update: The Labor Party held its primary Tuesday and is expected to unveil its Knesset slate at a gala campaign event Wednesday evening. The turnout on Tuesday was 58.9 percent, higher than the 57.7 percent of the registered voters who voted in the primaries two years ago. Read full article

For Tuesday's updates, click here

Latest updates:

8:05 P.M. The Labor Party presented its candidates at an event at Kibbutz Shfayim following the results of its primaries released earlier Wednesday. 

"I want you to see what a great team we have," Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog said. "Look at who's standing behind me. This is the next leadership of Israel. It's a dynamic, experienced team, full of faith
and sensitivity."

The list, added Herzog, "includes all of the sectors in Israel – Jews, Arabs, Druze, people from moshavim and kibbutzim, city-folk, young people, the elderly and immigrants."

"This team is hungry for change," he said, and will work to find solutions "to the housing problems, the cost of living, the deepening poverty, the diplomatic isolation, [and] Israel's security problems. 

7:20 P.M. Labor-Hatnua list decides to officially call itself the 'Zionist Camp.' (Jonathan Lis)

4:04 P.M. In an interview with Haaretz, head of Kulanu party Moshe Kahlon said that there’s no Palestinian partner for negotiations, and that Israel should continue to expand settlements and not return to the 1967 borders. Kahlon, who has presented his new party as the “real” Likud in the ‘spirit of 1977,’ said that he supports a unity government, slammed former Finance Minister Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid as representing the rich, and hinted that he favors the finance portfolio for himself.  (Ilan Lior) Full article

2:15 P.M. Former MK Issam Makhoul announced that he will contest the leadership of the joint Arab-Jewish Hadash party. Makhloul served as a Hadash MK from 1999 and 2006, and is currently the head of the party's Maki (communist) faction. (Jack Khoury, Haaretz)

10:38 A.M. MK Shelly Yacimovich says she is surprised by the results of the Labor primary, crediting her success to "collective wisdom." Meanwhile, Eldad Yaniv, who had been lauded as a strong candidate, expressed disappointment over being left out of the party's Knesset slate.

10:34 A.M. Israel's Supreme Court rejected a petition against a law raising the electoral threshold from 2 percent to 3.25 percent. The only justice to vote in favor of the measure was Salim Joubran, the court's sole Arab judge.

Joubran claimed the law will force Arab parties to run together in the upcoming Knesset election despite the differences in their ideologies, a situation that may deter Arab citizens from voting. (Revital Hovel) Full article

10:00 A.M. Habayit Hayehudi's primary election begins. Some polling stations opened at 10 A.M., while the rest are to open later in the day.

The Petah Tikva District Court placed an injunction on the vote on Tuesday evening, but lifted it on Wednesday morning. A hearing is underway at the court over grievances filed by a candidate, Eyal Barlev. (Chaim Levinson) 

7:49 A.M. Likud MK Ofir Akunis says Labor's new Knesset slate reflects the party's radical leftist tendencies.

"The mask has been lifted off Labor's face. The list that has been chosen represents the most radical leftist ideology, both on socioeconomic issues and on diplomatic ones.

"Supporting tax hikes on one hand, and withdrawal to the '67 lines on the other, express outdated and dangerous ideology."

Akunis further claimed the party's candidates lack "real experience" in running state matters. (Jonathan Lis)

7:20 A.M. MK Eitan Cabel, chairman of Labor's election committee: "I congratulate everyone who has been elected. Now our goal is to rally behind Chairman Isaac Herzog and together bring Netanyahu's rule to an end. We have a great and diverse team of whom Labor constituents can be proud." (Jonathan Lis)  

7:00 A.M. Former Labor leader MK Shelly Yacimovich ranked first in the party primary, according to the results of the vote held on Tuesday. Yacimovich will be placed third on Labor's Knesset ticket, after party leader Isaac Herzog and Hatnuah's Tzipi Livni.

Knesset members Stav Shaffir, Itzik Shmuli and Omer Bar-Lev follow Yacimovich on the ticket in places 4, 5 and 6 respectively. (Jonathan Lis) Full article

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