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Shmuli announces run for Labor leader

Labor MK Itzik Shmuli announced on Wednesday that he is running for leader of his party in the July 2 leadership race.

Shmuli won by far the most votes in the last primary for Labor’s Knesset list, making him a leading candidate in the contest to replace Avi Gabbay.

“There is an opportunity for a restart, for change, for growth to return Labor to be a relevant and influential force again in the country,” Shmuli said in a video he posted on social media.

He called for building new partnerships to expand the Center-Left camp.

“I realize it will be a huge challenge ahead but I know I can do it for the party and especially the country,” he said. “Together, we will bring life back to the party.”

Shmuli’s campaign slogan will be “Shmuli: Believing in Labor.”

Labor MKs Stav Shaffir and Amir Peretz have also announced their candidacies. Other possible candidates include former prime minister Ehud Barak, former IDF chief of staff Yair Golan, and former MKs Eitan Cabel, Danny Yatom and Danny Atar.

The party will hold a vote by Internet by next Wednesday to determine whether the race for Labor leader will be decided by some 60,000 Labor members or some 3,000 activists eligible to vote in the party’s next convention. The party members will also vote by Internet on whether to keep the current Labor slate for the September 17 election or elect a new list by the membership or at the convention.

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