JERUSALEM (Jan. 10)
Defense Minister Shimon Peres is expected to announce tomorrow that he is a candidate for leadership of the Labor Party. His announcement, to be made in the course of a scheduled television interview, will formalize his hitherto active but unofficial challenge to Premier Yitzhak Rabin.
Elements within the Labor Alignment have been trying to persuade Peres to abandon the struggle in the interests of party unity during the election campaign. Peres has rejected these appeals. Acknowledging that Labor faces an uphill fight to retain its position as Israel’s governing party, he has claimed that under the present leadership it is doomed to defeat. Peres has been conferring with various Labor circles in recent weeks and apparently believes he has a good chance to replace Rabin at the head of the party’s election list.
The internal contest may become a three way race. Former Foreign Minister Abba Eban is expected to declare himself a candidate for the Labor Party leadership later this week. He has reportedly informed Peres of his decision.