Israeli Labor Party Picks Barak to Lead

Former PM will join cabinet, sets sight on top job again
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2007 5:00 AM CDT
Israeli Labor Party Picks Barak to Lead
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak waves to supporters as he arrives to make a victory speech for the party's leadership at the Labor Party headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel, early Wednesday, June 13, 2007. The former Israeli prime minister won the Labor Party primary over a relative political...   (Associated Press)

Ehud Barak won a runoff election yesterday making him head of Israel's Labor Party once again. Barak, who edged out former Shin Bet boss Ari Ayalon, will join PM Ehud Olmert's coalition cabinet, probably as defense minister. But the Guardian reports that the serial party chief is widely expected to make a run for his old job in the next general election.

Barak lost his office to Ariel Sharon of the right-leaning Likud Party 6 years ago. Likud's Benjamin Netanyahu is pulling ahead in popularity polls, and Barak has cast himself as the only Labor leader capable of beating Bibi. Olmert continues to take fire for his handling of the Lebanon War, and elections may be as soon as this summer. (More Israel stories.)

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