Big surprise in Labor runoff: Newcomer Avi Gabay elected leader

Former business executive Avi Gabay, who joined the opposition Labor party last year, was elected its new leader in a runoff vote against the veteran Amir Peretz. He won 52 percent of the vote compared with 47 percent for Amir Peretz, reversing their positions in the primary’s first round a week ago  which ousted incumbent Yitshak Herzog.
Gabay walked out of Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon’s coalition Kulanu party, after serving as Minister of the Environment,  after differences with Kachlon. Before going into politics he was CEO of Bezeq, Israel’s biggest communications company. While Peretz was backed by Labor’s establishment and traditional groups, Gabay the outsider appealed to unaffiliated members who were hungry for change to lift the party out of its steady decline..

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