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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

More troubles for Olmert

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert has more problems on his hands today. The Winograd Commission originally told the Supreme Court last month that it would publish the testimony of Olmert, 'defense minister' Amir Comrade Peretz and former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz two weeks after the release of its interim report (which was released last Monday). But the Commission is apparently not satisfied with the Knesset's reaction to the report, and so it has announced that the testimony will be released today.

Worse still for Olmert, on Tuesday, 46 MK's - more than one third of the Knesset, including both coalition members and opposition members - sent Olmert a petition demanding that he publicly explain to the Knesset why he refuses to step down.

I believe that it's just a matter of time until Olmert is forced to step down. While it may not happen today, and it may not happen until either after May 28 (the date of the Labor party primaries, after which Labor is likely to withdraw from the coalition) or after the release of the final report this summer, it will happen.

The good side of Olmert hanging on is that I believe that the final report will be more critical of foreign minister Tzipi Feigele Livni, who had no clue what UN Security Council Resolution 1701 said - an issue that the Winograd Commission's initial report (which only covered the first five days of the war) did not discuss. This would make it more likely that we would have new elections when Olmert steps down, and not just the same Knesset with Feigele in charge.

The bad side is that if there is another war in the interim, Olmert would still be in charge.

It takes at least ninety days from the government's resignation to elections.

Update 3:31 PM

Public release of the testimony has been postponed to 9:00 AM tomorrow (Thursday) Israel time.


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