Barak decides to remain in Labor

Tafnit to decide Sunday whether to bring Shinui under its wing.

ehud barak face298 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
ehud barak face298 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Former prime minister Ehud Barak decided on Thursday to remain in the Labor party and not join the Knesset slate of another party, Barak announced in a meeting in Tel Aviv with former Shinui MK Avraham Poraz and Tafnit Chairman Uzi Dayan. Barak released a statement after the meeting saying that after careful consideration he had decided not to join the initiative at this time. "I am a Labor man and I am staying in Labor," Barak told Poraz and Dayan. Barak's associates said the initiative to get Barak to lead a conglomeration of parties in the March 28 election began at the request of Poraz. Dayan later joined the initiative but insisted all along that he lead the list and that it run under the Tafnit banner. Barak reportedly commissioned polls about the possibility of running with Tafnit and former Shinui MKs, and Shinui officials said the polls found that Barak would take away more support than he would bring. Labor MKs loyal to Barak are still trying to convince Labor Chairman Amir Peretz to reserve a slot for Barak on the Labor list by the February 8 deadline for submitting lists of candidates to the Central Elections Committee. Tafnit will hold a meeting on Sunday to decide whether the party should join with the remnants of Shinui. Dayan met on Thursday morning with Shinui leader Ron Leventhal and the only two MKs left in the party, Ehud Rassabi and Ilan Leibovitch, and discussed the possibility of running together. The Shinui officials said they would be prepared to run under Dayan's leadership. Meanwhile, several MKs who left Shinui will meet on Friday with Democratic Choice MK Roman Bronfman to discuss the possibility of running with his list.