Olmert's party to form new govt by November: TV

Under the reported Olmert-Livni agreement, the new Kadima leader would be obligated to form a new government by November.

Olmert's party to form new govt by November: TV

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's centrist Kadima party has scheduled a leadership election on Sept 17 and the winner will form a new government by November, Israeli television reported on Wednesday.

Olmert agreed last month to hold an early Kadima vote as part of a deal with the centre-left Labour party, which had threatened to trigger a split in Israel's coalition government in protest at a corruption scandal dogging the premier.

Olmert is widely expected to run for reelection as Kadima chairman, though he has not made a formal announcement.

According to Channel One television, Olmert and his biggest rival in Kadima, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, set Sept 17 as the election date, with any run-off taking place by Sept 25.

Under the reported Olmert-Livni agreement, the new Kadima leader would be obligated to form a new government by November.

"This means that if Olmert decides that he is not taking part in the upcoming elections in Kadima, he is, in effect, agreeing to stop serving as prime minister," said Channel One's political correspondent, Ayala Hasson.

Kadima's spokesman was not immediately available for a comment.

Cracks appeared in the coalition in May with the launch of a corruption investigation into more than $150,000 that Olmert received from an American financier while in previous posts.

Labour sources said the party's leader, Defence Minister Ehud Barak, would likely agree to remain in a government led by Livni.


Reuters

Last Mod: 10 Temmuz 2008, 16:01
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