|Olmert to be told to resign Thursday|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Monday, 30 April 2007 17:00|
|Things aren't looking too great for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert tonight, as speculation over his possible resignation increases following the publication of the Winograd report. The report's scathing criticism of the government's handling of the Second Lebanon War has already prompted the resignation of one of Olmert's cabinet, Eitan Cabel. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is reported to be leading the call for the Prime Minister to tender his own resignation. Vice Premier Shimon Peres has been supportive of Ehud Olmert and believes he will continue as Prime Minister despite the report's findings, which state that Israel blundered into a war with Hizbullah last year with no clear objectives and no possibility of achieving them. Olmert himself is not so confident. |
Quote: "The current political crisis might force him out of office, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was quoted as saying in a Channel 2 report Tuesday evening. I am not convinced that I will succeed in getting through this, Olmert said. He added that if he had to go, there would be no coalition left to any of his successors. Comments from Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni also showed her doubting Olmert's ability to remain in office, Channel 10 reported. According to the report, Livni told her associates that she thought Olmert should resign from his position. In addition, the report stated that Livni planned political action, but what kind of action remained uncertain.
Peres is being forwarded as the next obvious candidate for the position of Prime Minister. Having been Prime Minister of Israel before, he has the political background and military experience to undertake such a task. He also held peace talks with Arafat during his premiership, which resulted in the Oslo accords. That previous experience could prove valuable in current negotiations with Abbas. At the end of the day, any Vice Premier has a duty to defend his boss, and if Olmert's situation becomes untenable, Peres might just once again become Prime Minister of Israel.
Quote: "Prime Minister Ehud Olmert should eventually be replaced by Vice Premier Shimon Peres in light of the Winograd Commission’s severe conclusions, Labor officials said Tuesday. A Labor member close to former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who is running for party chairmanship, said, “An experienced person who is trusted and accepted should be running the country during this period. “Livni is a political bluff and is even less experienced and qualified than Olmert, and therefore Peres should be the leading candidate to replace the prime minister,” he said.
Of course Peres is also a hopeful candidate for the Presidency of Israel. But perhaps the need for a Prime Minister may be more pressing than that of a President. Peres becoming Prime Minister again could speed up events in the Middle East dramatically. Peres resigned from politics in November 2005, and dedicated himself to achieving peace with the Palestinians over the next few years of his life. He re-entered politics after Ariel Sharon left the Likud party and formed his own "centrist" party Kadima. Since then Israel has been dedicated to the disengagement, and I believe the prime candidate for such a task of dividing God's land is none other than Shimon Peres, who's name means "Hearkening to the division".