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Olmert Commits: Primaries No Later Than 18 September

6:37AM IL: Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) reports early Wednesday morning that a deal was signed during the night between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Labor Party leader Ehud Barak, in which Kadima is committed to hold party primaries no later than 18 September.

It appears the prime minister’s commitment was enough to provide Barak with the ladder to climb down from his threat to vote to dissolve the government, since in essence, Barak is among the last people anxious to go to the polls, well-aware that his popularity is waning and elections would place him out of the government, far away from his current senior cabinet post.

Responding to the announcement, Likud MK Silvan Shalom, who is behind the bill to dissolve the Knesset, stated that it is clear to all that the current Olmert administration is approaching the end of its tenure and the nation needs new leadership.

In actuality, Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu is among the minority favoring elections, realizing he has a good chance of emerging the next prime minister. Others, including Arab parties, Shas, and most Kadima members, oppose such a move at present.

Updates will be provided during the day as the tenuous political situation continues to change.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

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