Israel’s Labor Party should prepare to challenge Kadima for the national leadership within months, Ehud Barak said.
The Labor chairman, who serves as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s defense minister, predicted Sunday that Israel’s current political crises could trigger snap elections.
“I reckon the elections will be brought forward to the end of the year, December, or to the beginning of 2009 at the latest,” Barak told fellow Laborites, according to political sources.
“We must prepare for these elections and bring the party together.”
Elections are, for now, slated to take place in 2010. Olmert, whose Kadima Party commands a broad coalition government in which Labor is senior partner, has vowed to stay in office and seek reelection.
But a police investigation against the prime minister, as well as setbacks in his U.S.-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians, have prompted many experts to question how long the government can stay together.