Left-wing Meretz party holds its first-ever primary elections

Meretz party electors went to the polls in their first-ever primary elections on Thursday.

By World Israel News Staff

Some 21,000 members of Israel’s extreme left-wing Meretz party voted in their first-ever primary elections on Thursday to determined the candidates list ahead of Israel’s April 9 elections. In past primaries, the slate was chosen by the party’s central committee.

Meretz’s leader, Tamar Zandberg, is guaranteed the No. 1 spot on the party list in elections in which 23 candidates are competing.

According to i24NEWS, Meretz officials are worried that the election will hurt the chances of an Israeli Arab candidate placing high on the list. In the 2015 elections, party sources told i24NEWS that Israeli Arab Esawi Freige, who was set high in the list, won half-a-seat’s worth of votes.

Meretz defines itself as a left-wing, social-democrat party. It advocates for a two-state solution to the Arab-Israel conflict and focuses on social justice and human rights issues, particularly for ethnic minorities. Meretz is a full member of the Socialist International.

According to a poll published Thursday, Meretz is expected to gain seven seats in the election, an improvement in general over earlier polls which the party at around five seats.

However, another poll released Wednesday showed Meretz only winning four seats.

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