Israeli Labor party leader says he won't seek re-election

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JERUSALEM (AP) — The leader of Israel's venerable Labor party says he won't seek re-election as party chairman.

Avi Gabbay announced on Tuesday he won't run in the upcoming vote for party leader ahead of the Sept. 17 general election.

Under Gabbay, the party that founded Israel sunk to an all-time low of just six seats out of the 120 in parliament.

A former business executive with working class beginnings, Gabbay shocked Labor's staid establishment by winning the party leadership in 2017 on a promise of drawing centrist, traditional voters who had migrated into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's orbit. But after an initial surge, he found himself enmeshed in internal conflicts before crashing in the polls.

Former party leader Amir Peretz and upstart lawmaker Stav Shaffir are among those vying to replace him.

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