Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Wednesday that the prime minister would have “no reason to delay the matter” of a national ballot from a scheduled November 2006 to March should new Labor Party leader Amir Peretz demands it. Shalom’s comments came while the foreign minister was in Tunisia. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon meanwhile hold a secure lead over his main rival in the Likud chairmanship race, Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a poll. Sources also have said that Sharon is leaning toward staying in the Likud rather than bolt to found his own party. Peretz, who ousted Shimon Peres as Labor's leader in a Nov. 9 party ballot, has vowed to quit Sharon's coalition and says he will seek the prime minister's agreement on an election date in talks on Thursday.
Want more news from Israel?
Click Here to sign up for our FREE daily email updates