Peres: I will not Run for Labor Leadership
Israel's regional minister Shimon Peres said Thursday he does not intend to run for Labor party chair, even if it is only a temporary or short-term position, reported Haaretz newspaper.
According to Haaretz, members of Labor party are persuading Peres to run for the post after former prime minister Ehud Barak announced that he intends to resign his post although he has not formally done so.
The paper added that the Labor party headquarters will meet Thursday afternoon to put together a negotiating team for discussions with the Likud on a national unity government.
Barak will participate in this meeting, which will also set a date for internal elections for party chair.
Party secretary, Ra'anan Cohen, told Haaretz that according to the party charter, Barak would be the temporary chair until a new chair is elected.
Until then, some senior party members, who see themselves as Barak's heirs, are making preparations to run, Haaretz added.
Meanwhile, The Jerusalem Post newspaper reported that Prime Minister elect Ariel Sharon will meet with head of the ultra-orthodox Shas part, Eli Yishai, for talks on the unity government.
Among Shas's conditions for joining a coalition are that they receive the labor, health and religious ministries, a source told the Post.
Shas is also expected to demand the interior ministry, which it lost when outgoing Barak formed his government, the source added.
Also on Shas's coalition shopping list is the demand that its pirate radio stations be legalized.
On Wednesday, Meretz party said it will not join a national unity government.
Meretz will be a fighting opposition that will do its best to bring down the Sharon government, something which it may succeed in doing soon, a member of the party was quoted as saying Wednesday -- Albawaba.com
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