Israel’s PM Ehud Olmert to resign

September 21st, 2008 - 4:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Jerusalem, Sep 21 (DPA) Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told his cabinet Sunday that he intends to resign the premiership, following the election of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni as the new leader of his ruling Kadima Party.The decision to quit was neither a simple nor an easy one, Israel Radio quoted him as telling the ministers at the start of the weekly cabinet session in Jerusalem.

Olmert announced in July that he would quit the Kadima party leadership, and then the premiership, because of multiple investigations against him for alleged corruption. Police recommended two weeks ago that he be indicted on some of the allegations.

It was unclear however, when Olmert intended to formally submit his resignation to President Shimon Peres, who will then begin consulting leaders of Knesset factions with an eye to entrusting a new legislator with the task of forming a new government.

Peres leaves Monday to attend the United Nations General Assembly session in New York, and returns only a few days before the Jewish High Holiday festivals, which begin next week.

The legislator entrusted with forming a government has 42 days to complete the task, failing which new elections must be held within 90 days.

Olmert remains caretaker premier until a new government is formed.

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