Israel’s Labor Party elects Amir Peretz as new leader

July 2, 2019 GMT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s Labor Party says its former leader Amir Peretz has won the party primaries, fending off two young rivals seeking to lead the one-time ruling party into upcoming parliamentary elections.

Peretz, a former defense minister, took just shy of half the votes in Tuesday’s Labor Party primaries, beating Itzik Shmuli and Stav Shaffir, who evenly split the remainder.

Former party leader Avi Gabbay resigned last month after April’s parliamentary vote saw Labor sink to a historic low of just six seats in Israel’s 120-seat parliament, the Knesset.

Israel faces an unprecedented repeat election scheduled for Sept. 17 after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition and opted to dissolve parliament.