Israel's Prime Minister Resigns
Change is coming for Isreal. The nation’s Prime Mister, Ehud Olmert, handed in his letter of resignation Sunday in Israel. Olmert reading his letter of resignation to President Shimon Peres was broadcasted via Channel 10 TV in the nation Sunday evening according to the Los Angeles Times.
His choice to step-down was not surprising as he had already informed his Cabinet of his decision which resulted from several corruption cases against him.
Though Olmert has formally resigned, he will stay in office until a new government is approved by parliament The New York Times reports. Female Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni immediately began the task of forming a new government, which she has 42 days to do, once Olmert resigned. She is thought to be the next prime minister as every other politician who has needed to select a new government has succeeded the position. She will be only the second female prime minister if she gets the position. Livni’s popularity resides in her support of peace deals with the Palestinians and Syria. However, Olmert also vowed to work on peace as he holds the office in the interim. But, as a politician with little support, his approval ratings are in the single digits, no one wants him to be the one to set out peace agreements. These peace agreements are important because back in November, at a U.S.-sponsored peace conference, a target date of January had been set for establishing a peace treaty with the Palestinians. The problem is that Livni wants to deal with peace agreements though negotiations and making concessions. Peace talks could be halted altogether if she can’t form a coalition which would result in needing elections, and not have a new government until spring.
Livni won the election on Thursday to succeed Olmert as the Kadima Party head leader. But she only won her Kadima primary by a slim margin, and her party only hold 29 of the 120 seats in Parliament, making it ever important that her party stay together so as to not affect her efforts of forming a majority coalition.