MK Amir Peretz says that the Labor Party's negligible gains in the recent elections should prompt it to hold a vote for a new chairman, and added that he plans to run for the spot.
In an interview with Ynet Saturday Peretz warned that a decision by Chairman Ehud Barak to join the government as defense minister independently of his party would be "a total divorcement of Barak from the Labor Party", as well as "unethical and immoral".
In Israel's general elections this week the Labor Party won a measly 13 mandates, and were overrun as the country's third largest party by the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu, chaired by Avigdor Lieberman.
In his concession speech at Labor headquarters Barak was evasive on the party's next step. "We will consider what is best for the party, and far more important – what is best for the country. We are not afraid to sit in the opposition and serve the people from there," he told supporters.
But in a meeting with party MKs Barak said Labor was unlikely to be a member of any coalition to be formed, and would move over to the opposition seats.