Peres Wins a Round in Battle over Who Will Lead Labor Party

Shimon Per won a skirmish in his battle with former Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin over leadership of Labor Party when the party’s Leadership Bureau decided to postpone a crucial meeting of the Central Committee for another two weeks.

The committee was to have convened Thursday, at the urging of the Rabin camp, to decide when the party will choose its next chairman and how and by whom the voting will be conducted.

Peres, beleaguered by Rabin’s increase support in Labor’s leadership ranks, has be trying to delay a decision and has twice succeed in doing so.

The Central Committee is now set to seven July 21. Peres told reporters he thought that was a “sensible” decision.

But it is not certain that he will be able convince the Central Committee to hold off elections until the term of the present Knesset expires two years from now.

Peres insists he was re-elected party chairman in 1988 for the full term of the Knesset, and that the office of chairman makes him Lab prime ministerial candidate in the next election

But Labor’s Constitutional Committee ruled that the chairman and the candidate need not be the same person.

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