Labor may abstain in bill to disperse Knesset

Knesset members recommended that newly elected Labor Chairman Amir Peretz lead his party in abstaining from the preliminary reading of the bill to disperse the Knesset scheduled for Wednesday. Labor's abstention was expected to enable the passing of the bill without immediately disbanding the government, thus enabling the scheduled meeting between Peretz and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Thursday. Peretz's associates told Army Radio that the topic was discussed, but the new chairman has never abstained before in any vote, and that devious political manipulations were not his style.