Israel Votes Out Labor Leader

Peretz loses to Olmert critics; party threatens to quit government
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2007 5:14 AM CDT
Minister Ehud Olmert's government and his own political future. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Ehud Olmert was the biggest loser as the Israeli Labor party yesterday ousted its current leader, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, in favor of  two stauncher critics of Israel's uneasy coalition government. The vote yielded a runoff between former PM Ehud Barak and former Shin Bet chief Ami Ayalon, both of whom say they'll withdraw Labor from the government unless Olmert resigns.

Olmert and his cabinet are under fire for last summer's bungled war in Lebanon; HaAretz says Peretz is paying the piper for his mismanagement of the conflict and his continued support of the embattled Olmert. The runoff will be held June 12th.