Meretz to Vote on Proposal to End Zehava Galon's Tenure as Leader

A party member submitted the proposal to move up primary elections, but Galon is expected to maintain her position at the head of the left-wing party

Zehava Galon addresses a meeting of the Meretz central committee, March 14, 2017
David Bachar

The left-wing Meretz party's internal tribunal decided on Tuesday that the party's central committee would meet in the coming month to vote on a proposal to end Zehava Galon's term as party leader.

Avi Dabush, a party member who was in eighth place on the Meretz list for the Knesset (which won five seats), submitted the motion to hold the vote. He said that the move was motivated by the party's need to prepare for the next national elections, and they should therefore hold primary elections as soon as possible. Elections for the next Knesset must take place by November 2019, though the legislature may move them forward.

The Meretz central committee, which has 1,000 members, will have to decide by the end of September whether to shorten the party chairwoman's term and go to new elections. However, party members believe that the chances of Galon's removal are not high.

The proposal was submitted in July, but MK Esawi Freige petitioned the party's tribunal to reject it on the grounds that the change violated Meretz' constitution because Galon's term was supposed to continue until the next national elections. The tribunal sided with the Meretz parliamentarian, but Dabush appealed, and the tribunal decided to hold an additional hearing.

The tribunal, following a 4-3 vote held on Tuesday, ordered that it would be possible to hold the vote, expected to be set for the coming month.

MK Ilan Gilon, who intends to run against Galon at the next leadership election, opposed Dabush's proposal.

"This is a victory for common sense," Dabush commented on the tribunal's decision. "All the tricks and schticks failed. We have a responsibility to get organized to return to being a significant political force in Israel. In the deep social and political crisis that exists today in Israel, this is good news. I expect the Meretz central committee to set a date soon for open elections for the leadership of Meretz."