Labor Leadership Candidates Fight for Votes Ahead of Second Voting Round

Amir Peretz has received the backing of MKs Cabel, Ben Simon and Majadeleh, while Yachimovich has earned the support of MK Braverman.

Labor MKs Shelly Yachimovich and Amir Peretz continue to hunt for supporters in anticipation of the vote for part leadership which will take place in three days’ time. Key figures in the party announced their support for Peretz on Sunday morning.

Former Labor Minister Moshe Shahal, who refrained until now from supporting one candidate or another, announced that he is calling upon all eligible Labor voters to vote for Peretz. Former MK and Labor Party General-Secretary Nissim Zvili signed on to Shahal’s endorsement of Peretz.

Yachimovich, Peretz
Dudu Bachar and Moti Milrod

Peretz also received endorsements from three current Labor Members of Knesset: Eitan Cabel, Daniel Ben Simon and Raleb Majadeleh. MK Benjamin Ben-Eliezer has not yet expressed public support for either of the candidates, also members of his inner circle are aiding Peretz with his campaign.

Yachimovich finally managed to secure her first letter of public support from a Labor member of Knesset, former Social Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman, who called for voters to support Yachimovich in a published letter.

Secretary of the Haifa chapter of the Labor Party Yisrael Savion also came out in support of Yachimovich. Sources in the Yachimovich camp see Savion’s support as a significant boost among northern voters, as he previously headed the campaign of Avraham Mitzna and personally signed up 1,000 new party members.

Opinions also varied outside of the Labor party. Kadima MK Shai Hermesh published a letter Saturday expressing support for Peretz and called upon eligible voters living in communities close to the Gaza Strip to support Peretz, as well.

Likud MK Carmel Shama announced his support for Yachimovich, claiming that a win by her would harm Kadima’s chances in a national election. According to a Haaretz poll published last week, a Yachimovich-led Labor would nab six Knesset seats from Kadima, whereas a Peretz-led Labor would only siphon four seats away from Kadima.