On Tuesday, the head of the Meretz party and the Health Minister of Israel, Nitzan Horowitz announced that he would not be participating in the upcoming leadership contest. But, he did say that he would run for a position on the electoral slate of the party.
Horowitz quits as party head
Recent polls had showed that the Meretz party was floundering and it had come very close to and even gone under the electoral threshold. As for Horowitz himself, the primary challenge that he is facing is from Yair Golan, the Deputy Economy Minister.
Horowitz posted a statement on Facebook in which he highlighted the achievements he had made as the health minister. He also celebrated the fact that he had helped in establishing the government that is now outgoing. However, he asserted that he would not be heading the party as they engage in the latest bout of elections scheduled for November 1st.
He said that after serving as Meretz chairman for more than three years and leading the party in three election campaigns, he had decided not to run for its chairmanship anymore. He also thanked the other MKs and lawmakers who had served under him in the party. It should be noted that he left out the name of Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, who undermined the outgoing government’s coalition and eventually contributed to its demise.
She had been personally chosen by Horowitz for the fourth spot on the party’s slate, even though she had not been a party member or activist at that point.
Horowitz receives praise
Last week, Yair Golan announced that he would be running for the party leadership. After the announcement from Horowitz, Golan praised him for the contributions he had made to the State of Israel, the Health Ministry and to the party.
Zahava Galon, the former chairwoman of the Meretz party, also highlighted the achievements of Horowitz. She was especially full of praise for how he had made the party a governing one, after it had been part of the opposition for 20 years.
Last month, she had disclosed that a number of Meretz supporters and activists had requested her to take up the party’s leadership again. However, she said that this was not part of her agenda, as she wanted Meretz to resolve its issues on its own rather than look for their rescue services.
In 2019, Horowitz had taken up the leadership of the Meretz party and served as its chair in the next three elections. In the elections in September 2019 and those that had occurred in March 2020, he had entered the Meretz party into electoral alliances with other parties of the left-wing.
But, he had chosen to run the party as a standalone one in the elections last year in March and had been able to secure six seats in the Knesset. He is the only as well as the first gay man to lead a political party in Israel and has been serving as the health minister.