Peretz defiant in face of polls

Ami Ayalon is the frontrunner, followed by former prime minister Ehud Barak and Ophir Paz-Pines.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
March 5, 2007 08:28
1 minute read.
peretz speaks at podium gestures 298

peretz at labor mtg 298. (photo credit: AP [file])

 
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Sources close to Defense Minister Amir Peretz vowed that he would remain in the Labor race and not give up his portfolio despite polls published on Monday that indicated he would be trounced in the Labor leadership primary on May 28. According to the polls, Labor MK Ami Ayalon is the frontrunner, followed by former prime minister Ehud Barak and MK Ophir Paz-Pines, and both Peretz and MK Dani Yatom are trailing far behind.

  • Peretz camp confident after membership drive "The polls are not disappointing," a Peretz associate said. "Amir has full control of the largest political camp in Labor and he is the only candidate who can count on his people all coming out to vote en masse. Three months is a long time. We can still win." Labor MK Avishay Braverman, who is an ally of Ayalon, called upon Peretz, Yatom and especially Paz-Pines to quit the race and endorse Ayalon. "Only Ayalon can provide a real alternative." Braverman said. "The other three candidates should join together and lead the party with Ami, building a new agenda of diplomatic, security and economic issues as well as clean governance and social justice." Ma'ariv, Yediot Aharonot and Ha'aretzYediot, Ayalon is the leading candidate, with 28 percent, leaving Barak (26%) slightly behind, and Peretz (19%) third. Paz-Pines (17%) was just slightly behind Barak, while only 6% said they would vote for Yatom.
  • Peretz camp confident after membership drive The Ma'ariv poll ranked Barak as the next Labor leader, leading Ayalon by four percent. Paz-Pines placed third and Peretz fourth. In all scenarios presented to poll participants in which there would be no clear winner at the end of the first round of votes, Peretz would lose in a run-off with either Ayalon or Barak. According to Yediot, Barak would lose to Ayalon if the two ran against each other. Peretz has claimed that associates of Labor have brought 25,000 new members to the party. The group expressed confidence on Sunday that Peretz's position in the leadership race would improve dramatically now that opinion surveys will include the new members. Overall, 50,000 new members joined in the recently ended registration drive. The polls published on Monday contradict this as they were based on the new, complete list of 103,348 members.

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