Labor chairman MK Amir Peretz announced Wednesday that he would not be running for party leadership prior to the coming election campaign.
“Out of a sense of responsibility, I will not be running for party leadership in the upcoming elections,” he posted on his social media page. “The Labor Party is undergoing a lot of changes and should elect a new chairman along with new leadership,” he said.
Peretz, 68, led Labor to its lowest-ever showing in the past election and later broke his campaign promise not to join a government led by Binyamin Netanyahu.
The party won just three seats as part of its alliance with Gesher and Meretz in the March 2020 election.
Peretz — the longest-serving MK in Knesset — also said that he turned down an offer for a senior spot on the Blue and White list, but stopped short of announcing his full resignation from political life. Peretz is seeking to be nominated president after Reuven Rivlin steps down in the summer.
He defended his decision to join the coalition, saying that he only did so after Blue and White agreed to join forces with Netanyahu. During previous election campaigns, Peretz famously shaved his mustache so that Israelis could “read his lips” and promised he won’t join up with Netanyahu.
Recent polls have shown Labor failing to cross the electoral threshold.