Barak wants to be leadership partner
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Barak: Nation wants us to join government

Defense minister says most citizens, party voters interested in seeing Labor entering coalition

Labor Chairman Ehud Barak says he is interested in bringing the prospect of his party joining the Netanyahu government to a vote.


"Most citizens and most Labor voters want to see the party as leadership partner," Barak's office said in a statement Wednesday evening.


According to the statement, Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu approached Barak and asked him to join the next government. "The country's wellbeing, in light of the challenges it faces in the political, security, economic, and social spheres requires the Labor party to seriously weigh (the option of joining the government) and take a decision via the party's institutions," Barak said.


According to the Labor chairman, "we're all emissaries on behalf of the party. Nobody stands above it." His statement noted that, should Labor's fundamental demands be met, Barak will bring the issue to a vote in the party.


Labor's death certificate


Earlier, Labor sources said Netanyahu offered Barak five portfolios, including the Defense Ministry, two deputy-minister positions and chairmanship of a committee. The negotiations between the two parties are said to be ongoing.


However, not all Labor members are excited about the prospect of joining the Likud-led government. Education Minister Yuli Tamir said Wednesday that "Barak's ongoing attempt to crawl into the Bibi-Lieberman party constitutes the Labor party's death certificate."


"There is no room for allowing people who lost faith in the Labor party's way to determine its future," she said.


Meanwhile, Likud sources expressed concerns over the prospect of Labor joining the government, warning that this could leave Likud in a minority position within the government.


"The generous offer submitted by Netanyahu to Barak may further minimize the number of prestigious portfolios that will remain in Likud's hands," a Likud source told Ynet.


פרסום ראשון: 03.18.09, 20:10
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