Ayalon says he won't run against Barak

Labor MK doesn't think chairman will remove party from gov't if PM doesn't quit.

ayalon the loser 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
ayalon the loser 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Labor MK Ami Ayalon, who lost the Labor leadership race to Ehud Barak last month, announced on Sunday that he would not run against Barak if another primary is held within the next two years. "I will not run against him if the election is in the next year or two," said Ayalon. "I am not dealing with how to contest his leadership in the party but with how to unite the divisions in the party so Labor will return to lead the country." Labor has begun a process of canceling its primary that is automatically held ahead of a general election. Ayalon told Army Radio that Barak should be given a chance and that Labor had too many elections for its own good. Ayalon also said in the interview that he did not believe Barak would keep his campaign promise to remove Labor from the government if Prime Minister Ehud Olmert does not quit by the time the final Winograd Report is released in September or October. He said the security situation at the time would dictate whether it would be responsible for Labor to risk instigating an election. Ayalon said in the interview that he had spoken regularly with Barak since the primary between them, but his running mate in the race, MK Avishay Braverman, has complained that Barak has made no contact with him, even though he offered him his full support. Senior Labor Party officials who supported Ayalon in the election said they still believed an additional primary should be held and they would work to ensure it would happen in the party's institutions. They said the investigation into forgeries in the Arab and Druse sectors in the primary would cloud Barak's victory and they hoped it would force another primary.