Olmert's key partner may leave coalition

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government came under renewed threat on Friday when members of the left-leaning Labour party threatened to withdraw from the coalition following a scathing Lebanon war inquiry.

Olmert's key partner may leave coalition
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government came under renewed threat on Friday when members of the left-leaning Labour party threatened to withdraw from the coalition following a scathing Lebanon war inquiry.

More than 100,000 Israelis took to the streets on Thursday night demanding that Olmert step down but he has so far resisted the pressure after a government-appointed commission blamed him for serious failings during last year's 34-day war.

Labour, in the midst of its own power struggle, is the largest partner in Olmert's coalition government and its withdrawal could force new elections. Israel's next general election is not due until 2010.

The head of Labour, Defence Minister Amir Peretz, is considering stepping down from his post in response to the Lebanon war report.

Israel's Haaretz newspaper quoted Olmert's aides as saying they were concerned that members of Labour would push to end their coalition partnership with his centrist Kadima party in order to form a new government.

Olmert has repeatedly said he has no intention of resigning despite the commission's sharp criticism of his handling of the Lebanon war and allegations of political corruption.

Labour party member Ofir Pines and several other Labour leaders said that Olmert must go, even if it means early elections.
Last Mod: 04 Mayıs 2007, 16:17
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