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THE WEEK AHEAD

JERUSALEM : More Politics

February 18, 1992

Israel's election season shifts into high gear this week as the country's two biggest parties select the candidates for prime minister.

The Labor Party, following a string of disappointing performances at the polls, is holding its first-ever open primary Wednesday. More than 150,000 Labor faithful will choose from among four rivals for the top spot on the party's list of parliamentary candidates. The favorite is Yitzhak Rabin, a former prime minister.

The next day, the ruling Likud party is expected to confirm its continued backing for Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. The real Likud battle will be over the No. 2 spot on the list of parliamentary candidates. Foreign Minister David Levy is vying with Housing Minister Ariel Sharon and Defense Minister Moshe Arens for the position, with the winner gaining an edge in the race to succeed the aging Shamir the next time around.

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