Defense Minister Ehud Barak wants his Independence Party to carry on under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, sources close to Barak said Tuesday night.

The fate of the Independence Party has been up in the air since Barak announced his retirement from politics last week. The four remaining Independence MKs have examined several options since then.

Meridor did not even come close to winning a realistic slot on the Likud list in last week's primary. But Barak and Independence MK Einat Wilf presented Meridor with a poll indicating that he could win 10-11 seats if he headed their party.

"Ehud is mobilized, calling, and pressuring Meridor,” Wilf said. “Right now he seems intent on retiring completely, but we think with a sufficient amount of pressure, he might cave in.”

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