Following a standoff in Monday night's Labor Party primary, former prime minister Ehud Barak and MK Ami Ayalon are preparing for a second round that will determine who will lead the Labor party in the next election, and - perhaps more importantly - who will replace Defense Minister Amir Peretz as the holder of the coveted Defense portfolio. However, although Peretz will receive the boot when a new Labor head supercedes him on June 12, he still maintains a sizeable influence, manifest in 23% of the votes in Monday's election. A Peretz endorsement will go far in bolstering the chances of the candidate to garner his favors. A source in the Barak camp said early Tuesday that preliminary negotiations with the Peretz camp would begin in the morning. "We hope to 'get a hold of' him," said a Barak crony.
Ayalon hopes clean campaign will secure victory
Barak pounds pavement, stays on message
Analysis: A chairman on probation
"Towards the second round we will have to work hard, but it is clear that we have an advantage over Ehud Barak," MK Avishay Braverman, a supporter of Ayalon, told Israel Radio on Tuesday.
"We will meet with Ami Ayalon in the morning to analyze the results and regroup," Braverman said.
Labor Party secretary general Eitan Cabel said that he hoped former prime minister Ehud Barak would win the run-off election for party chair.
"I'm disappointed by tonight's results because Barak didn't get 40 percent of the votes," Cabel said.
"We're starting again from scratch and hope to bring all [our] members together to support Barak," he said.