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Olmert. Unexpected support
Photo: Reuters
Labor is stuck in the government, party officials say
Recent calls among Labor's ministers to resign from government, push elections forward, grow weaker as party decides to support PM's political moves pending publication of Winograd report

A senior source in the Labor party told Ynet Sunday that "with no elections expected before the end of 2008, Labor is stuck in the government."

 

The source, belonging to a section of Labor which until recently openly supported the party's resignation from the government after the publication of the final Winograd reports on the Second Lebanon War, further told Ynet that "Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is pushing political moves which force us to stay in the government.

 

"We understand that pushing the political agenda requires us to stay in the government for now. We have to help the prime minister push the peace process forward, so that next year we might have real peace with the Palestinians," said the source.

 

However, should the Winograd report prove unfavorable to Olmert, Labor, said the source, would have to rethink its position in the government.

 

The supporting Left

The calls from Labor members demanding the party resign form the government, have recently died down. No longer threatening to resign, Labor is now trying to give Olmert the support he needs to create the declaration of principles Israel intends to bring before the international peace conference, scheduled to take place in Washington this November.

 

Olmert's recent political moves, said the source, have stabilized the government. "We still have to see where he's taking the talks (with the Palestinians), but for now, it doesn't look like we're going anywhere.

 

"The next elections are expected at the end of 2008, or the beginning of 2009. They're not going to happen any time soon."

 

The political left, Ynet has learnt, has been working on strengthening Olmert's public persona as well: Some of the Left's leading figures, such as Meretz-Yahad Chairman Yossi Beilin, fellow MK Chaim Oron and members of Peace Now met over the weekend to discuss the ways in which they can help Olmert push the peace process further.

 

Oron is said to have met with several opposition members as well, in an attempt to convince them to cease their attempts to topple the government.

 

Sources close to Oron told Ynet the meetings went well and had "visible results".

 

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