Yehiel Shamir, the legal adviser to the Histadrut’s Central Elections Committee, issued a ruling on Wednesday authorizing Zionist Union MK Shelly Yacimovich to run for the chairmanship of the labor federation against incumbent Avi Nissenkorn.
Shamir criticized Yacimovich for not following proper procedures with her candidacy but nevertheless said she could run.
There will be other challenges between now and the May 23 election, because members of the faction that is running Yacimovich already made a deal to endorse Nissenkorn.
Yacimovich began the process of turning to external courts just in case her candidacy is disqualified. She issued a statement welcoming the chance to run and vowing to increase the turnout in the Histadrut election, which was only 40% in the last race, five years ago.
“We have received a huge amount of overtures from potential voters, and our main work right now is reaching out to them quietly and thoroughly,” Yacimovich said. “We’re facing a mammoth, powerful bureaucracy that doesn’t hesitate to use the resources and the workers of the union that depend on the Histadrut for their income. Unlike the fictitious feeling of panicking [regarding her chances] that the Histadrut created, there is still plenty of time if we work hard.”
Yacimovich has started meeting with the heads of unions across the country that are part of the Histadrut and explaining how it can be more effective.
“This election will decide the socioeconomic face of the State of Israel,” the former Labor Party chairwoman said.
Nissenkorn said he welcomed her candidacy and would not stand in the way.
“The workers know very well who gets things done and who just talks, who brings achievements and who is extremist and isolating,” a source close to Nissenkorn said. “The Histadrut is a serious place and not where you go for a job when you have no other choice.”
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