Merav Michaeli, Israel’s transport minister, won the Israeli Labor party’s leadership primary on Monday.
The result made her the first chair in Labor party chair history to retain her post in consecutive elections since the start of primaries in 1992.
Michaeli won 82 percent of the votes, with her challenger, secretary-general Eran Hermoni, winning 16 percent.
Addressing supporters in Tel Aviv, Michaeli said that she “fought” to rebuild Labor at a time when it was in danger of falling below the electoral threshold needed to enter the Knesset.
“A year ago the Labor party was 0.3 percent in the polls. I fought for it and insisted that it was viable against all odds and against what everyone believed”, she said.
She added in separate comments to reporters that “only a year and a half ago, all of this seemed impossible”.
“I succeeded and we succeeded and we built the first floor and now we are here to build the second floor”, she said.
In an interview with the Times of Israel following her victory, Michaeli vowed to combat Israel’s spiralling cost of living crisis.
She also stressed Labor’s stability as part of the Bennett-Lapid coalition government, saying: “We didn’t want these elections, we did everything in our power to avoid them. But now that they’re here, we’re going out with a raised head”.