INTRODUCTION: Delegates of the ruling Labour Party in Israel met in Tel Aviv on Wednesday (23 February) to choose a new leader --- against a background of financial scandal, national economic difficulties, an imminent general election, and the proposed reconvention of Arab-Israeli peace talks.
GV PAN INTERIOR Delegates at Israeli Labour party congress in Tel Aviv applauding and cheering
CU ZOOM OUT Defence Minister Shimen Peres seated at head of table
SV Delegates cheering and applauding
GV PAN Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin arrives
GV PAN Delegates
SVs Rabin voting in leadership election (2 shots)
SV Crowd watching
SV Peres voting
SV Man in Arab clothing voting
SVs Official announcing result of leadership election and audience applauding (2 shots)
SV Peres shakes hands with Rabin
SV Newsmen and photographers
SVs Rabin speaking to newsmen (in English) (3 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 13: RABIN: "I believe the party has become stronger and better equipped and prepared for the national elections on the 17th of May. There were different opinions who should lead the party, but I don't believe that there is any question about the unity of the party."
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Delegates of the ruling Labour Party in Israel met in Tel Aviv on Wednesday (23 February) to choose a new leader --- against a background of financial scandal, national economic difficulties, an imminent general election, and the proposed reconvention of Arab-Israeli peace talks.
About 3,000 delegates were at the meeting to decide the leadership. One of the two candidates was Mr Shimon Peres, the Defence Minister. He was standing against the current leader, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Mr Peres had also stood against Mr Rabin at the last Labour Party convention four years ago, and lost the leadership election by only 40 votes. Supporters of Mr. Rabin said they did not think his chances would be affected by the sentencing the day before of Mr Asher Yadlin to five years on bribery and tax evasion charges. Mr Yadlin was a former key party figure who had been named to head the Bank of Israel.
Mr Peres, however, did not find much support amongst many of the party functionaries. When the result of the vote was announced, it was almost a repeat of the convention four years ago. Mr. Rabin retained his post by only 41 votes. The earlier election came after the resignation of Prime Minister Mrs Golda Meir, a strong supporter of Mr Rabin. Mr Peres was one of the first to congratulate Mr Rabin on his victory. The Prime Minister later spoke to newsmen about his win, and Labour's prospects in the general elections in May.