In no hurry. Mitzna
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov
'I'll step aside.' Ben-Eliezer
Photo: Ofer Amram
Ben-Eliezer to Mitzna: Only you can save Labor
As part of efforts to replace Barak, trade minister asks former party head to run once again for party chairmanship. 'I'll step aside if you agree,' Ben-Eliezer tells Mitzna

Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer has asked former Labor head Amram Mitzna to run for the party's chairmanship once again, saying he was the "only one who can save us," Ynet learned Wednesday.


Ben-Eliezer, who was Mitzna's bitter rival when the latter headed the party, suggested that Mitzna return to political life, saying he would bow out of the race for the party's leadership if Mitzna accepted the offer.


Mitzna, who lost to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the parliamentary elections eight years ago, served as mayor of Haifa for 10 years. About two weeks ago Mitzna's term the mayor of Yeruham came to end, and since then he was been courted by senior politicians from most of the major parties. However, Mitzna appears to be in no hurry to reach a decision.


Ben-Eliezer told a Labor convention recently that he would seek an "external candidate" to lead the troubled party. "The Labor Party needs a brave and new leadership that will return Labor to the forefront of the political stage – a leadership that will prevent the 'six-mandate prophecy' and will prove to all the mockers that the party’s path has not come to an end, and it still has a future," he told some 500 party activists in Ramat-Gan some two months ago.


“The prophecy will not change with the current leadership, no matter who takes center stage,” he said.


Meanwhile, calls within Labor to quit the coalition over the stalemate in peace negotiations with the Palestinians have grown over the past few weeks.


Ministers Isaac Herzog and Avishay Braverman have submitted a request signed by hundreds of central committee members to hold the internal election of the party chairman within six months, thus beginning the formal process of removing Defense Minister Ehud Barak from his position as Labor Party chief.



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