Peretz takes the lead in Labor primaries

For the first time in the 2005 Labor Party primaries, at 4 a.m. early Thursday, Histadrut Labor Federation chief Amir Peretz took the lead over incumbent Labor chairman Shimon Peres in the Labor Party leadership race. Peretz took the lead without any portion of the 1,100 votes yet to be counted from Mitzpeh Ramon and Sderot, a majority of which were likely to be in his favor, which were being investigated by party's central election committee. Head of the committee Eitan Cabel said that a decision on those frozen votes would be reached by daybreak on Thursday, learning a lesson from the controversy in the 2001 Labor primaries in which voting fraud allegations delayed the election result by several months.