barak & ayalon 88.
(photo credit: AP)
Labor primary candidates MK Ami Ayalon and Ehud Barak had their final public appearances over the weekend ahead of Tuesday's runoff election.
Both candidates slammed each other in last-minute bids to vie for Labor constituents.
"The choice should be clear. Only new, fresh leadership can bring the Labor Party the vision it needs and return faith in our party," said Ayalon during an appearance at Kibbutz Deganya Bet in the North. "We cannot turn to the leadership of years past and expect new things."
Ayalon will continue to hold meetings with constituents from the kibbutz and Arab sectors, hoping to take votes away from Barak. In the first round of the primaries, Ayalon narrowly beat out Barak for the kibbutz vote, and lost heavily to him and Peretz in the Arab sector.
"Ayalon may have been hoping that an alliance with Peretz would bring him the Arab vote, but for every vote he gains there, he might lose another one in the kibbutz sector, the 'white' sector," said a Labor MK close to Barak.
In a Dialog poll conducted last week, Labor members seemed to scorn the newly forged Ayalon-Peretz alliance, with many saying that it would cost him votes among the white, middle-class voter base.
During the last election, many of those voters left Labor for the Kadima Party, in a backlash against Peretz's leadership style.
Ayalon, however, has promised that Peretz's support of him does not mean that he will be adopting the defense minister's style or platform. In weekend interviews, Ayalon said that the Finance Ministry would go to his running mate MK Avishay Braverman if Ayalon were granted that portfolio.
Education Minister Yuli Tamir publicly backed Ayalon over the weekend, appearing with him at several events. Meanwhile, Dalia Rabin, the daughter of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, announced that she supported Barak for the Labor leadership.