On Saturday, January 17, Attorney Ayman Odeh, Secretary General of Hadash (the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) was elected by delegates to the Front’s primaries, held in Shefaram, to the fill the first spot in the Hadash’s list of candidates for the upcoming elections to the Knesset. Before the vote, MK Mohammed Barakeh, Chairman of Hadash, withdrew his candidacy, as did two other contenders, former MK Issam Makhoul and MK Afo Agbaria.
Former editor of Al-Ittihad, the daily Arabic-language newspaper of the Communist Party of Israel, and well-know feminist activist, Aida Touma-Sliman, won the second spot on the list with 330 votes, narrowly beating out Dr. Nabila Espanioly, a clinical psychologist and women’s activist, who received 316 of the ballots cast. Touma-Sliman is well known among the Arab community in Israel for her work in the field of women’s rights, and as head of a Nazareth-based organization which combats violence against women. MK Dov Khenin received 73 percent of the votes in the contest for the third spot in the primary ballot, making him Hadash’s number three candidate for the upcoming elections to the Knesset. The fourth slot was won by Dr. Yousef Jabarin, a renowned professor of law at the University of Haifa. Fifth place was taken by Dr. Abdallah Abu Maruf, member of the CPI’s political bureau and active in the “Arab-Druze Initiative” and in the NGO Physicians for Human Rights.