Labor leadership race goes to runoff vote


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The race for the leadership of Israel’s Labor Party will go to a second vote after no candidate received the required 40 percent.

Former Defense Minister Amir Peretz and former television journalist Shelly Yacimovich will vie for the chairmanship of the party in a runoff election on Sept. 21 after Monday’s first round of voting left them with the highest vote totals.

At least two-thirds of the party’s 66,310 eligible voters cast ballots throughout the country Monday. Peretz garnered 31 percent of the vote and Yacimovich 32 percent.

Former Cabinet minister Isaac Herzog and retired general Amram Mitzna were defeated in the vote.

The party has been without a permanent chairman since Defense Minister Ehud Barak split off in January to form his own Atzmaut Party. It now has eight seats in the 120-member Knesset.

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