Opposition chairman Yosef Lapid (Shinui) revealed that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Thursday that he would convene the Likud Party before deciding on Sharon's political future. According to Lapid, as part of this anticipated meeting, Sharon said that he will speak about his political outlook and that, based on the Likud's response, decide whether to stay in the Likud or form his own party. The Shinui leader told Channel 2 that he told the prime minister his party would accept elections in March. He reported that Shinui would hold primaries before the next elections. Lapid claimed that when Peretz headed the Histadrut, Israel experienced 200 workers' strikes which cost the economy 4 million working days during the years 2001-2004. He expressed his opinion that the middle class refuses to accept such a situation, and that Shinui's popularity would rise following Amir Peretz's election as Labor Party chairman.