Israeli Senior Labor Member Quits Politics
A senior Israeli Labor party member declared his resignation from the party and the Knesset on Sunday, to be the third Laborite quitting politics after the defeat of the party’s leader Ehud Barak in the premiership elections last week, said reports.
Uzi Baram was quoted by Haaretz as saying he believed that the new generation of leaders in the Labor Party had to be given a chance.
Since he had no plans to compete for the party leadership after last week's electoral defeat, Baram, 64, said at a press conference in Tel Aviv that he had decided to retire after 24 years in the Knesset, said the daily.
"I don't plan to be active in political life - not with Yossi Sarid and not with Yossi Beilin ," he said, referring to reports that he might join the two in establishing a social-democratic party.
He said he was opposed to Labor joining a government of national union with Barak's nemesis, right-winger Ariel Sharon, which is currently under negotiation, said AFP.
Baram is the third Labor deputy to stand down following the disastrous elections, the first being Barak himself, who said he was also resigning as party leader.
On Thursday Elie Goldschmidt, head of the parliamentary finance commission, followed suit.
In the Israeli political system, a member of the Knesset who resigns is automatically replaced by a substitute from the same party until the next elections, said the agency.
In the meantime, Israel's Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon was holding talks Sunday morning with Barak to try to build a political alliance, amid escalating violence in the Palestinian territories.
Sharon has offered his defeated rival the powerful post of defense minister in any national unity government, but Barak said after Friday’s first meeting between the two men that his party was waiting for more details on Sharon’s coalition plan – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)