Ha'atzma'ut, the party created by Defense Minister Ehud Barak when he left the Labor Party, unanimously decided, Thursday evening, not to run in January's Knesset election, so it will not submit a list of candidates to the Central Elections Committee. The party announced that it will continue to exist and its members will decide, in the future, how they will act to promote the good of the state, its security, economy and social and democratic strength, on the basis of the reasons the party was started.
Polls have indicated that the party would not win enough votes for representation in the Knesset. Barak recently announced that he was retiring from politics and will step down as soon as the next government's defense minister takes office. Among the five members of the current Knesset factions were Agriculture Minister Orit Noked and Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simchon, who announced, before the party's announcement, that he was not running for re-election.