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Barak gains support to lead Labor

JERUSALEM, Dec. 30 (JTA) — Labor Knesset member Uzi Baram announced this week that he thought that Ehud Barak should be the next chairman of the Labor Party. At a news conference Monday, Baram said he believed that Barak, a Labor Knesset member and former foreign minister, would be good for the strength of the party and that his candidacy for the premiership would boost the party’s chances in the next national elections, slated for the year 2000. In announcing his decision, Baram, who finished first in Labor party primaries last year, withdrew his own candidacy for party leadership. Sources close to Baram said he made his decision after determining that he could not beat Barak in the internal party elections that are scheduled for June. Labor Knesset members Haim Ramon and Ephraim Sneh, who also are vying for party leadership, said they were not surprised by the announcement.