The number of people running for leadership of the Meretz Party surpassed that of the party’s five MKs Thursday, with gay-rights activist and Tel Aviv nightlife fixture Imri Kalmann becoming the sixth person to enter the race.
Kalmann, 31, is the head of the Tel Aviv chapter of Meretz and former chairman of the Israeli Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Association. The announcement of his candidacy called him “one of the best-known nightlife people in Tel Aviv.”
He is married to Muhammad Wari, an Israeli-Arab man who was injured in a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in 2016.
“Meretz has been my political home since age 16, and this home is in crisis,” Kalmann said. “Meretz is suffering from a lack of confidence leaving it on the defensive, trying to survive, without a vision or a productive work plan.”
The primary is set to take place on March 22, and Kalmann is up against incumbent Zehava Gal-On; MKs Ilan Gilon and Tamar Zandberg; activist Avi Dabush; and Peace Now secretary-general Avi Buskila.