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Sunday, April 08, 2007

What it would take to remove Olmert as Prime Minister

Someone over at LGF asked what it would take to remove Ehud K. Olmert as Prime Minister. I'm sure a lot of you are wondering, so I decided to cross-post to here what I posted in the comments there.
It's probably three months minimum.

There are three ways it can happen:

1. Knesset votes no confidence in Ehud K. Olmert and agrees to appoint someone else Prime Minister. At least 61 MK's must vote in favor. Then Olmert would be replaced but the Knesset would remain intact. The odds of 61 MK's agreeing on someone other than Olmert are not good. And at this point Olmert's Kadima Achora party is so unpopular that it's not in their interest to keep the current Knesset composition intact.

2. A bill to dissolve the Knesset passes three readings including being reported out by committee. This is a long and painful process and if any of the readings fail to pass with a majority, the bill cannot be reintroduced for six months. De facto what will usually happen is that if the government sees that it cannot win all three of these votes, they will cut a deal to schedule elections. If the bill passes three readings, elections are on the first Tuesday falling more than ninety days from the date of the third reading.

3. Olmert resigns due to the scandals surrounding him (either he finds a conscience somewhere or he is indicted and the Attorney General forces him to resign or suspend himself). The only time that has ever happened was when Rabin resigned in 1977 (over far less of a scandal than any of the things of which Olmert is accused). The odds are that we would then go to elections within ninety days with a caretaker government led by Tzipi Feigele Livni. But there are no guarantees that Livni would not attempt to stay in power. When Rabin was assassinated, Peres stayed in power for three months before calling elections for three months later. In Peres' case that turned out to be a mistake. The best chance of this happening is when the Winograd interim report comes out (with or without a transcript of Olmert's testimony) which is scheduled to happen within two weeks.

As you can see, there are no simple answers to the question....


At 5:05 PM, Blogger PaulW said...

When is the next election scheduled to be held (barring an election required by the fall of the government)?

At 8:45 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

November 2010.

At 10:14 AM, Blogger Michael said...

You said: ...at this point Olmert's Kadima Achora party is so unpopular that it's not in their interest to keep the current Knesset composition intact.

I thought it was the opposite; the Kadima was desperate to keep the Knesset intact, as a new election would likely dissolve their party.

Can you clarfiy?


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