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Barak, Independence launch first campaign event (JERUSALEM POST) By LAHAV HARKOV 05/02/12)Source: http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=268373 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Defense Minister Ehud Barak´s Independence Party launched its first- ever campaign event Wednesday, saying officially that the party would run "independently." Politicians have speculated that Barak would attempt to secure a place or guarantee from Likud in the next elections.

Barak, speaking at a press conference called together with all Independence MKs, said that elections in Israel are more important than voting for characters on a reality television show. Elections, he said, determine the country´s future.

Addressing his party´s generally poor showing in polls to date, the defense minister noted that a recent poll showed a five-percent jump in his party´s election standings, a trend he said he believes will continue.

He also said that those predicting his party´s failure should "look at Kadima two months ago and today. Things change, there is connection between polls and reality."

Barak explained that he is campaigning, "so that I can continue to have influence in the next government as defense minister," and so that the other Independence MKs can also continue their work in a place of influence.

"Everyone should come with us. We put the state first in all areas, security, social issues and the economy," he said. While other politicians merely talk, Barak said he and his party´s focus on action is "active, not declarative."

The defense minister continued, "We stopped legislation that would have circumvented the High Court" in defense of the state´s democratic institutions and character. "I have a steady, experienced hand on the wheel," Barak said, noting that voters should focus on who is experienced when casting their ballots.

Asked by a reporter why the public doesn´t trust him - Barak replied, "I have been in public life for about 15 years. People who were around me then arenít here anymore. [former minister] Haim Ramon isnít here, [former prime minister] Ehud Olmert isnít here, [former Kadima leader] Livni just left. Itís hard to be lonely, but Iím okay."

JPost.com staff contributed to this report. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/02/12)

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