Peres spins for slot in Kadima

Former Labor chairman Shimon Peres leaked a story suggesting that his successor Amir Peretz begged him to come back to the party, in an effort to convince Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to give him a top slot on Kadima's Knesset list, sources close to Peres confirmed on Thursday. The story was published in Ma'ariv on Thursday under the headline "Shimon, come home." According to the report, Peretz's close aide Rachel Turjeman met with Peres and promised him "half the kingdom" if he were to return to Labor. Labor officials said the meeting between Peres and Turjeman was coincidental, that the two have offices in the same Tel Aviv building and that Turjeman did not convey any messages from Peretz. A Labor official suggested that Peres's ally in Kadima, Dalia Itzik, leaked the story because she wanted to prevent Peres from leaving Kadima for her own personal reasons. Peres has said recently that he does not expect to be Kadima's number two and that he would be satisfied with being placed between the fifth and seventh slots on the list.