YechimovichFlash 90

MK Amir Peretz of Labor criticized his former protégé, MK Shelly Yechimovich, one day after she won 32 percent of party support to his 31 percent in the first round of the Labor party leadership race. In an interview with IDF radio, Peretz accused Yechimovich of corruption.

“People were strong-armed into voting for Shelly Yechimovich,” said Peretz, who accused his rival of using the “lowest possible tactics.”

Yechimovich said Tuesday that she had run a clean campaign. “We ran a completely clean campaign, totally ideological. In recent months we brought together a new generation, a wonderful, outstanding generation calling itself social-democratic and Zionist,” she said.

Labor voters are not easily manipulated, she said, and “will vote for the candidate they think is best.” She called on MK Yitzchak Herzog and Amram Mitzna, fellow candidates who did not advance to the second round of voting, to “create a shared vision.”

Yechimovich is already thinking on a national scale, and this week explained why Labor, not Kadima, is the natural alternative to Likud. Kadima, like Likud, is “neo-capitalist,” she said, while Labor remains committed to its socialist roots.

Labor voters will return to the ballot boxes in nine days to choose between Yechimovich and Peretz. Herzog and Mitzna, who won 25 percent and 12 percent of the vote in the first round respectively, have not yet announced which candidate they plan to support.