Parties scramble following Labor Party upset

Sunday, November 13, 2005 | 
Amidst the political upheaval caused by a surprise upset last week in Labor Party elections, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said he believes he can lead the Likud to a sweeping victory against new Labor Chairman Amir Peretz. Peretz defeated Labor Party Chairman Shimon Peres as party leader. His victory puts the Labor Party on the far left of the political spectrum and has parties scrambling to reassess their platforms in anticipation of early elections. Peretz, known for championing unions’ right and his socialist views on economics, has already threatened to topple Sharon's government if the prime minister doesn’t meet with him early this week. He said he would refuse to join a national unity government if not elected prime minister. Peretz also vowed to not rule Arab parties out of his coalition. Knesset member Gideon Sa'ar said that Peretz’s victory, “Symbolizes the fall of Zionism and morality in the Labor Party.”

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