Barak wins Israeli party leadership

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak won the primary for head of Israeli Labor Party, officials said early Wednesday, in a race between two ex-military officers who had both called on Israel's current leader to resign.

Barak wins Israeli party leadership
Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak won the primary for head of Israeli Labor Party, officials said early Wednesday, in a race between two ex-military officers who had both called on Israel's current leader to resign.

Party director-general Eitan Cabel announced that Barak defeated former navy commander Ami Ayalon, a relative political newcomer.

Israel Radio analyst Hanan Crystal said the final count was 34,960 for Barak and 31,100 for Ayalon. An official announcement was expected later Wednesday.

Barak is expected to replace deposed party leader Amir Peretz as defense minister in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Cabinet. Despite his call for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign over last summer's inconclusive war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Barak was not expected to pull his party out of the coalition right away.

Peretz, too, was widely criticized for mishandling last summer's war, and leaves the job highly unpopular among Israeli voters. He was eliminated in a first round of voting two weeks ago.

Last Mod: 13 Haziran 2007, 14:00
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