Photo Credit: Flash 90
Former Kulanu Environment Minister Avi Gabbay at a conference at the College of Management. June 02, 2016.

In a narrow vote, Labor Party newcomer Avi Gabbay was elected chairman of the Labor Party on Monday night with 52 percent of the ballots, edging out Amir Peretz, who garnered 47 percent.

Gabbay, a past member of the Kulanu Party, once served as Minister of Environmental Affairs.

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Peretz, a party veteran, was considered a shoe-in for the leadership role, having won more votes than Gabbay last week as well as the backing of the party’s political people, including Isaac Herzog.

But last week Gabbay said that as far as he was concerned, incumbent party leader Herzog was not obligated to quit his post for either him or Peretz. “Herzog was elected with 24 seats and there is no obligation to replace him,” Gabbay said, according to Ynet.

Now the question is, what happens next?

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.