Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak will face Ami Ayalon in a second round of voting after failing to secure the 40% of the vote necessary for an outright victory.After voting finished on Monday, results published by Al Jazeera showed that Barak narrowly won the first round beating Ayalon by 36% to 31%. Amir Peretz, the current leader, came third with 22%.
A second round of voting is now scheduled to take place on June 12.
The result casts serious doubts on the political future of Ehud Olmert and his coalition government. Both Barak and Ayalon have publicly stated that they will remove the Labour Party from the current administration should the current Prime Minister not resign over his role in the most recent war in Lebanon.
If the Labour Party were to be pulled out of Olmert’s coalition, it would leave the beleaguered Prime Minister two seats short of a Parliamentary majority, opening the way for early elections and a potential change in leadership.
In other news, the online edition of Haaretz has reported that Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert will address the Knesset on Tuesday regarding the finding of the Winograd committee.
Olmert is expected to outline the reasons why he did not resign in the aftermath of the report’s publication.