Barak grin 224 88.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The Labor Party will leave Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government when the final Winograd Report on the Second Lebanon War is released, Labor chairman Ehud Barak told an MK in his faction on Tuesday, Channel 10 reported.
According to the report, Barak said in the private conversation that he would abide by the commitment he made at Kibbutz Sdot Yam during the Labor race that upon the release of the report, he would "work to draft wide support in Labor and the other factions to set a date for early elections."
The statements from Barak followed reports that the Winograd Committee will not make recommendations for sanctions to be taken against anyone involved in the failures of the government during and leading up to the war. Barak reportedly said that he never thought the committee would call upon Olmert to quit.
Barak's spokesman would not confirm that the Labor leader made such statements. He said Barak would wait until the Winograd Report's release before commenting on it.
Labor MK Ophir Paz-Pines received a commitment from Barak during the race that if Olmert did not quit after the report's release, Labor would "end its partnership [in the coalition] and work to form a new government in the current Knesset or set a date for new elections."
Paz-Pines said Tuesday that he insisted that Barak tie his commitment to the time of the report's release no matter what the report would say, instead of making Labor's departure from the government conditional on the report calling upon Olmert to quit.
"We never thought there would be personal recommendations and that's why the commitments weren't tied to that," Paz-Pines said.
In a festive meeting of Labor MKs on Sunday night, Barak said in his toast that he still thought the next election would be held in 2008.
But National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Barak's close political ally, said in the Knesset cafeteria on Monday that due to the weakness of the coalition partners, elections would not be held before 2009.
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