Israel's Labor Party votes for next leader, opposition chief

AP News
Posted: Jul 04, 2017 4:36 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's Labor Party is voting for its next chairman, who will become the country's opposition leader to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Polls opened Tuesday for the party's 52,000 members. Current opposition chief Isaac Herzog is running for re-election against six challengers. Results are expected late Tuesday.

If none of the candidates gets 40 percent of the vote in the first round, the top two finishers will face off on July 10.

Labor led Israel to independence and steered it for decades through wars, crises and the pursuit of peace. But it hasn't ruled since then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak was defeated in 2001 following a failed attempt to reach peace with the Palestinians.

The next national election is scheduled for late 2019. Labor currently polls as Israel's fourth or fifth-largest party.