Incumbent Head of Israel's National Labor Federation Declared Winner of Election

Avi Nissenkorn keeps post, but challenger, Knesset Member Shelly Yacimovich, who accused incumbent’s campaign of tampering with ballots, vows appeal

Histadrut Labor Federation chief Avi Nissenkorn, March 2017.
Tomer Appelbaum

Last Tuesday’s much-disputed election for chairman of the Histadrut labor federation has ended with the incumbent, Avi Nissenkorn, declared the winner over his challenger, Zionist Union Knesset member Shelly Yacimovich, who alleged widespread fraud in the balloting.

The chairman of the Histadrut’s central election committee, Tal Keret, convened the panel on Friday, which declared that after the counting of all the ballots, Nissenkorn has been declared the winner with 62.42% of the vote to Yacimovich’s 37.58%. At Yacimovich’s request, the Tel Aviv district court issued a 12-hour temporary restraining order late Wednesday halting the counting of the votes, after Yacimovich claimed that the voting was tainted by fraud and demanding that the balloting be conducted again.

District Court Judge Eitan Orenstein then ordered the counting of the ballots resumed, adding however, that this would not prevent Yacimovich from filing a subsequent petition challenging the election. Officials at Yacimovich’s campaign headquarters said that a petition would be filed shortly.

Among the allegations of her campaign were that more than 500 ballot boxes were suspected of containing ballots possible involving fraud. Nissenkkorn’s staff said the claims were baseless, adding that the Histadrut chairman’s challenger was simply refusing to accept the will of the voters.