Zandberg wins Meretz primaries: We're the majority

MK Tamar Zandberg will lead leftist party in the upcoming elections, after winning 71% of the votes in the party primary.

Hezki Baruch ,

Tamar Zandberg
Tamar Zandberg
Elior Cohen/TPS

MK Tamar Zandberg was elected on Thursday as Meretz chairwoman and will lead the leftist party in the upcoming Knesset elections.

This is the first time that primaries have been held in Meretz, and the voter turnout was 53.6%. Of the approximately 31,000 registered members, 16,954 members voted in 130 polling stations throughout the country.

Zandberg won with 71.12% of the vote. Avi Buskila, who ran against her, received 28.48% of the vote. The results were announced at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds.

Zandberg, who has served as a member of the Knesset since 2013, will replace outgoing party leader Zehava Galon.

Both Galon as well longtime Meretz MK Ilan Gilon withdrew from the leadership race last month.

In her victory speech on Thursday night, Zandberg promised that "Meretz is about to break into the center of the political stage. We will lead a strong leftist force, in every stage, in the Knesset, in the squares, on the streets, in the social networks, everywhere. We will be part of the revolution that Israel is so desperate for. We will break the patterns of Israeli politics that pushed us into a corner and explained to us that the public is not with us.”

"We will be here for a vast public that has not given up on Israeli democracy, justice and equality, for anyone who understands that the occupation is an existential threat to the State of Israel. I say to all these Israelis: Do not believe that you are a minority. You are not. We are the majority in Israeli society," she claimed.

MK Mossi Raz, secretary-general of Meretz, said, "I am happy and excited that Meretz members came out en masse to vote throughout the country, from north to south, and have proven that Meretz is becoming the leader of the Israeli left. I wish success to the incoming chairwoman, MK Tamar Zandberg, in her mission to double the power of the Israeli left."

MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) said, "I am very happy that Meretz is embarking on a new road led by Tamar Zandberg. I have no doubt that Meretz led by Tamar will continue to be the ideological and moral party that it has always been: a party that proudly carries the struggles for a fairer society, for an end to the occupation, for separation of religion and state, for clean hands and full equality for every man and woman wherever they may be."