Transportation Minister and Labor Party chairwoman Merav Michaeli is facing a revolt within the party, Israel Hayom reported Monday, following Labor’s poor showing in last Tuesday’s Knesset election.
According to the preliminary results, Labor received just 175,922 votes last week, plummeting from 268,767 votes in last year’s election, leaving the party with just four seats, compared to seven in the outgoing Knesset.
Senior party officials are now reportedly attempting to convene Labor’s central committee, in a bid to force snap elections within the party, challenging Michaeli’s leadership.
An internal party survey found that a large majority of Labor’s supporters back a new leadership election.
Along with the party’s electoral decline, Michaeli has faced criticism within Labor over her refusal to form an alliance with the smaller Meretz party, thus ensuring Meretz cleared the electoral threshold.
Meretz failed to receive the necessary 3.25% of the vote, wasting over 150,000 votes for the left-wing bloc.
Michaeli’s refusal after the election to take responsibility for the failure to form an alliance with Meretz further rankled many Laborites, including former MKs Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuli, who are reportedly weighing primary bids against Michaeli.
Former MK Eitan Cabel said he is under pressure to challenge Michaeli, but has yet to decide whether to run, should internal elections be called.